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Rep. Radel: Substance Abuse Never Interfered With My Work.


Image: Rep. Radel: Substance Abuse Never Interfered With My Work

By Courtney Coren

Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida says he plans to return to work after completing drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but emphasizes that his substance abuse never interfered with his work in Congress.

“It never interfered with my congressional obligations,” Radel wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “However, it led me down a path that chipped away at my relationship with my wife, my child, and God.”

The freshman congressman was arrested in October after purchasing cocaine from an undercover agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington.

On Nov. 20, he pleaded guilty to the charges against him and entered a voluntary rehabilitation program for treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse.

“My recovery is under way and ongoing,” he said. “I have and will continue to build a support system to rely on for the rest of my life. While in a voluntary rehabilitation program, I began a step-by-step process that will aid me in recovery one day at a time.”

He said his main struggle is with alcohol.

“To be clear, alcohol is the problem for me,” the Florida Republican said. “It was selfishly fun, but became an issue when it led to poor choices and missed opportunities.”

While he made it clear in his Facebook post that he plans to remain in office, Florida Republican leaders have said they want Radel to resign.

At least two Republican candidates have said they are ready to run in a special election if needed.

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Florida GOP: Radel Must Resign.


The chairman of the Republican Party of Florida on Monday called for U.S. Rep. Trey Radel to step down following his recent cocaine conviction.

Chairman Lenny Curry joined a growing number of Republican leaders from Radel’s district demanding his resignation.

“The people of Florida’s 19th Congressional District need a Congressman who is 100 percent focused on the needs of Southwest Florida,” Curry said in a news release. “Therefore, Congressman Radel should step down and focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family.”

Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession last week, acknowledging that he purchased 3.5 grams of cocaine last month from an undercover police officer. He has since taken a leave of absence and checked himself into a rehabilitation facility.

As part of a plea agreement, Radel admitted he agreed to buy the cocaine for $250 in a Washington neighborhood on Oct. 29. After the undercover officer gave Radel the drugs, federal agents confronted him, court documents show. Radel agreed to talk with the agents and invited them to his apartment, where he also retrieved a vial of cocaine he had in the home, the documents said.

The Collier County Republican Executive Committee also called on Radel to leave office Monday, stating the group would not support him in future elections.

“While the decision to complete the current term is his alone to make, we strongly encourage him to reflect on his ability to remain effective and that a return to Congress may serve only as an impediment to his recovery,” Chairman Mike Lyster said in a release. “We feel it is in the best interests of all involved that he resign immediately.”

Radel spokeswoman Amanda Nunez did not return a telephone phone call Monday night seeking comment. During his hearing last week, Radel said he wanted to “continue serving this country.”

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

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