Congressman Trey Radel To Take Leave of Absence After Cocaine Bust

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Florida Republican Rep. Trey Radel announced Wednesday he would take a leave of absence from Congress and seek medical treatment hours after he pled guilty to a misdemeanor cocaine possession charge. Radel added that he would donate his salary to charity while away from his duties.

“I have let my constituents, my country and my family down,” Radel said in a late night press conference. “I want to come out of this stronger, and I intend to do that, to be a better man, a better husband and continue serving this country.”

A Washington, D.C. Superior Court judge placed Radel on a one-year probation earlier Wednesday. If Radel completes that probation successfully, his guilty plea will be cleared from his record.

Radel’s wife was not present at the press conference, but he said she was being supportive and described her as his “rock.”

“There’s nothing more that I want than to go home and hug my wife and my little guy,” Radel said.

Radel was originally charged on October 29. When asked why he waited to disclose the matter, Radel said that was “a matter of counsel.”