Florida Congressman resigns after cocaine bust

SOURCE: radel.house.gov

Florida Congressman Trey Radel resigned on Monday after he was caught trying to buy 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover police officer in Washington, D.C. last fall.

Radel, who represents Florida’s 19th district, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor cocaine possession charge and was sentenced to one-year probation. The freshman Congressman also was being investigated by the House Ethics Committee.

In his letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Radel cited his “personal struggles” as the reasons he’s leaving office.

“Unfortunately, some of my struggles had serious consequences. While I have dealt with those issues on a personal level, it is my belief that professionally I cannot fully and effectively serve as a United States Representative to the place I love and call home, Southwest Florida,” Radel wrote.

A special election is expected to be scheduled to fill the vacated seat.

Around the time time of his drug bust, Radel voted against raising the debt ceiling and ending the government shutdown in October.

During his year-long tenure in the Congress, Radel consistently opposed Obamacare. He supported a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act implementation and voted to defund the health care law altogether. In addition, he voted to repeal the Obamacare’s Medical Device Tax and to eliminate the requirement that contraceptives be covered under all health plans.

Radel also voted to cut food stamp funding by $39 billion. He supported a bill to impose a nationwide ban on abortions after 20 weeks, and he voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. He also voted against the $50 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package.

April Freeman, a Democrat running in FL-19, said that Radel’s resignation is “the right for him and for Southwest Florida.”

“Aside from his personal issues, Rep. Radel pursued political policies that were hurtful, harmful and extreme. They did not support Southwest Florida business, protect seniors or improve government. More of the same will not help our community,” Freeman said in a statement. “I look forward to a special election which brings the prospect of real change even closer.”


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