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Republican Representative Trey Radel of Florida said Thursday that he will not resign from office, even after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession charges and completed a stint in rehab.
Radel was arrested in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 29 when he tried to buy cocaine from an undercover police officer. The arrest was not made public until November, when he was in court to enter a guilty plea. He then issued an apology, saying that he was struggling “with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice.” He vowed not to resign and said he would be going to rehab.
Since then, he has completed his rehab stint and held a press conference after he left a facility in Naples, Fla. “I love what I do, and I'm going to return to what I do,” he said, reports The Huffington Post. “No one will take away my passion when it comes to serving southwest Florida.”
The former journalist said that he has only used cocaine “a handful of times.” He added, “Alcohol does not work for me… It led me down a path that that slowly and surely chipped away at my relationship with my wife, my child and God. And it led to really bad decisions, which put me here today.”
Radel, who was just elected to office last year, said that he is still in the “ongoing” process of recovery.
“I let you down, I let our country down...And again for that, I am sorry,” Radel said.
Although House Speaker John Boehner hasn’t asked Radel to resign, the House Ethics Committee will still investigate to determine if Radel broke House rules. He insists that he was not under the influence while voting or during other Congressional activities.
image: Wikimedia Commons