Congressman gets year probation for coke bust; Dems demand resignation

Florida Rep. Trey Radel was sentenced to a year’s probation Wednesday after pleading guilty to cocaine possession in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.

The southwest Florida Republican was also fined $250.

In court Wednesday, Radel apologized for his actions, according to USA Today.

treyradel1120new“I have let my constituents down, my country down and, most importantly, my wife and child down,” Radel said.

Radel was arrested on Oct. 29 in Washington, D.C., in an undercover operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency and other federal agencies, according to USA Today.

When news broke Tuesday, on the eve of his arraignment, he issued a statement of apology and acknowledged battling alcoholism, but did not discuss his political future. In court on Wednesday he said he wanted to continue serving his country, USA Today reported.

The Democratic Party of Florida called on Radel to give up the seat immediately.

“Congressman Radel should resign immediately and allow the voters of Florida’s 19th Congressional District to elect a Representative that is able to effectively and honorably serve them,” party executive director Scott Arcenaux said in a statement.

Fellow GOP member state Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, agreed. In a tweet, he likened Radel’s situation to the colorful Mayor of Toronto, Canada, Rob Ford, whose numerous drunken escapades and videotaped crack smoking got him stripped of nearly all his official powers this week.

 

 

However, in his statement Tuesday, Radel gave no indication of resigning and said he looked at the arrest as an “opportunity.”

“It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling,” he said. “I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”

Through a spokesman, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the arrest is “between Rep. Radel, his family and his constituents.”

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