ST. LOUIS – Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush’s campaign paid $60,000 in private security payments last year to Cortney Merritts, a man she quietly married earlier this month. He was also reimbursed $2,359 for gas and travel. Moreover, Bush’s campaign paid PEACE Security more than $225,000 for personal protection, and another man $50,000, according to a review of her campaign records. These seem to be significant expenditures for someone who aggressively engages in stripping protection, via law enforcement services, from her constituents.
However, a more troubling footnote to the story is that Merritts pocketed the security payments despite being unlicensed in St. Louis to offer such services, Fox News Digital discovered. Merritts also received the campaign’s cash as it simultaneously paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a St. Louis security firm PEACE as well as another individual, Nathaniel Davis, for personal protection.
So Bush’s campaign forked over $225,281.80 to PEACE Security, $62,359.59 to Merritts, and $50,000 to Davis. The total of $337,641.39 certainly seems to be a hefty sum of money for bodyguards from someone who advocates defunding police.
Fox News Digital said they “filed a public records request with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on Monday morning seeking information regarding Merritts’ private security license. In response, a Sunshine Law administrator said there are ‘no responsive records’ relative to the request, and Merritts does not have a current license.”
The news outlet said the records search covered the city of St. Louis and its neighboring St. Louis County, which encompasses Bush’s entire congressional district.
According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department website: “With the exception of St. Louis Police Officers, all persons performing a security function in the City of St. Louis must be licensed to do so through the Private Security Section.” Likewise, in St. Louis County, people offering security services must register with the same section.
This does not appear to be the case as it relates to Bush’s new husband, Merrits.
Furthermore, this isn’t the first time the police antagonist has doled out big money for personal protection. In 2021 Bush spent nearly $70,000 in personal security fees during a three month window, Law Officer reported at the time.