Florida Congressman resigning after cocaine arrest

Florida Republican Congressman Trey Radel is resigning, two months after he pleaded guilty to a charge of cocaine possession.
January 27, 2014 3:01:00 PM PST
Florida Republican Congressman Trey Radel is resigning from his House seat, two months after he pleaded guilty to a charge of cocaine possession. The first-term lawmaker admitted buying 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover officer in Washington.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur), Radel says that some of his "struggles had serious consequences." He writes that he doesn't believe he can "fully and effectively serve" in Congress representing his district in Southwest Florida. The letter says he is stepping down at the end of the day.

Several Republican leaders, including Gov. Rick Scott, had asked Radel to resign. But he had pledged to stay in office and rebuild the trust of his constituents, after taking a leave of absence and completing a month-long in-patient treatment program for drug and alcohol abuse.

He apologized to Republican colleagues after returning to Congress this month. But he was facing increasing political pressure. The House Ethics Committee announced last month that it was launching a formal investigation of Radel. And at least one of his former Republican rivals vowed to challenge him in a primary.


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