Rep. Trey Radel resigns from Congress

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla, who returned to Congress earlier this month weeks after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine, has tendered his resignation to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

“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 Representatives to the place I love and call home, Southwest Florida,” Radel wrote in a letter.

Radel also sent notes to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Gov. Rick Scott, informing them the resignation was effective as of 6:30 p.m. Monday.

In October, Radel was arrested after purchasing cocaine from undercover agents conducting a sting operation.  He was sentenced to one year of minimally supervised probation and ordered to pay a $250 fine to a victim’s compensation fund. He took a leave of absence to undergo treatment in Naples, Fla.

Top Florida Republicans including Scott and the chairman of the Florida Republican Party had called on Radel to step down.

His GOP colleagues in the House had not echoed calls for him to resign, but the House Ethics Committee announced in December that it would investigate whether he violated the congressional rules of conduct.

Earlier this month, he told Ft. Myers, Fla., CBS affiliate WINK-TV, he wouldn't resign and that he had the strength to stay in office, he wanted to make amends, and keep working for his constituents.


 “I feel that I have the strength, the abilities and the capabilities to move forward and that's what I want to do,” Radel said. “I understand the gravity of what I’ve done but I hope a lot of people can take some time, reflect on the good that I’ve done because I want to carry that into 2014. I want to do what the people have elected me to do.”

In the interview, Radel acknowledged the “embarrassing” arrest and conviction.

“I’ve dragged my family through a lot. I have made a real conscious effort to shut off the computer, not look at the internet and not watch the TV because I know that I’ve caused a lot of pain.”