U.S. News


Trey Radel Resigning From Congress After Cocaine Charge

The Florida Republican is stepping down, citing "serious consequences" resulting from his personal struggles.
Posted at 12:55 PM, Jan 27, 2014

Trey Radel — the Florida Republican who pleaded guilty to cocaine possession — is resigning from Congress.

In this letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Radel cites "serious consequences" resulting from his personal struggles as the reason he's stepping down. (Via U.S. House of Representatives

Back in October, an undercover federal agent caught the the Florida congressman buying coke. The next month, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession and was given one year of supervised probation and ordered to undergo treatment for substance abuse. (Via ​Office of Rep. Trey Radel)

Radel apologized, took a leave of absence and returned to work in Washington after a stint in rehab.


RADEL: "I've let down our country. I've let down our constituents." (Via WFTX

Still, many in his own party — including Florida Gov. Rick Scott — called on the freshman congressman to step down. (Via WBBH)

But that was two months ago. CNN's Mark Preston suggests Radel's sudden announcement might have something to do with a House Ethics Committee probe. 

​"The investigation into him, into him buying that cocaine was moving along at a very quick pace. Perhaps he wanted to get out of Congress before other things more embarrassing could be unveiled." (Via CNN)

Making matters worse for Radel, The Washington Post notes he would have faced a tough primary re-election bid, despite winning 30 percent of the vote when he ran in 2012. Several prominent Republicans in the state had already indicated they'd planned to challenge him. 

Gov. Scott is expected to schedule a special election to fill Radel's seat.