January 27

Fla. congressman to resign over cocaine scandal

Several Repblican leaders, including Gov. Rick Scott, had been asking him to resign for months.

By Michael J. Mishak
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Before his arrest, things were seemingly going well for U.S. Rep. Henry “Trey” Radel. His wife was featured in a glowing local news segment about how the couple was adjusting to life in D.C. He had sponsored a handful of bills, and he was interviewed by several inside-the-Beltway publications.

The Associated Press

Things seemed to be going well for Radel. His wife was featured in a glowing local news segment about how the couple was adjusting to life in D.C. He sponsored a handful of bills and was interviewed by several inside-the-Beltway publications. He was active on Twitter and championed cuts in sheep-farm subsidies, keeping good on his conservative promise.

Then, on Oct. 29, Radel attempted to buy $250 worth of cocaine from an undercover police officer in a Washington neighborhood.

According to court documents, federal agents confronted the congressman and he invited them to his apartment, where he turned over a vial of the drug. A DEA official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details of the case in his own name said Radel was identified to authorities as a cocaine buyer by his suspected dealer.

For the next three weeks, Radel didn’t skip a beat. He held a re-election fundraiser at a Naples country club and continued to cast votes. He did not tell House leaders about the bust until Nov. 19, when reporters broke the news about the case.

When his arrest became public, Radel said during a news conference that he had struggled with drug and alcohol abuse “off and on for years.”

While court documents said the lawmaker purchased cocaine on several occasions before the October incident, he maintained that he had used the drug only “a handful of times.” His treatment, he said, was focused on alcoholism.

On Monday, Radel thanked Boehner and his colleagues for their support and said he is leaving Congress “with friendships and memories.”

“As an eternal optimist, I know there are great things in store for our country when we find ways to work together,” he wrote. “Whether it is as a father, a husband, or in any future endeavor, I hope to contribute what I can to better our country in the years to come.”

Scott will set a date for a special election to fill Radel’s seat.

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