After completing inpatient rehab treatment Thursday, Republican Congressman Trey Radel of Florida announced that he would not resign his seat in the House of Representatives.
“I love what I do, and I’m going to return to what I do, what you sent me to do in D.C.,” the freshman congressman said. “No-one will take away my passion when it comes to serving southwest Florida.”
Radel, who pled guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession in Nov. after he was caught buying $250 of cocaine from an undercover police officer in Oct., said that he had only used the drug “a handful of times” and that he was in treatment for alcohol, not cocaine. He was sentenced to 1-year probation.
“I’ve been treated for the disease of alcoholism,” he said. “Alcohol is my issue.”
On Monday the House Ethics Committee unanimously voted Monday to investigate Congressman Radel to determine whether he violated the House Code of Conduct.
Radel, who calls himself a “hip hop conservative” on Twitter, said that he had never been drunk or high while voting on Capitol Hill, but that he has to undergo mandatory drug testing as part of his sentencing. He said that drugs and alcohol “never interfered with my Congressional obligations.”
“I let you down, I let our country down,” he said.”And I will do everything in my power to make it up to you and regain your trust.” He called his drug use “my personal issue on personal time” and said that “this was my mistake, my doing.”
When asked when the cocaine use started, Radel said, “like many others in college, I experimented with drugs.”