Florida Congressman Henry Radel To Take Leave Of Abscence

WASHINGTON (CBS Tampa/AP) — Fla. Rep. Henry “Trey” Radel is going to take leave of absence and donate his salary after pleading guilty to misdemeanor cocaine charge.

“I have no excuse for what I’ve done. And I’m not gonna sit here trying to make any excuses for what I’ve done,” he said during a press conference. “I let down our country, I’ve let down our constituents, I’ve let down my family, including my wife and even though he doesn’t know it, I’ve let down my 2-year-old son.”

During the press conference, Radel admitted that he has had problems with abusing alcohol following the death of his mother.

“I hope, like family, southwest Florida can forgive me for this. I’ve let them down, but I do believe in faith, forgiveness and redemption and i hope to come out of this a stronger man, a better man, for all of you,” Radel said.

District of Columbia Superior Court records show charges against Congressman Henry “Trey” Radel were filed Tuesday. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington says the cocaine possession charge, a misdemeanor, carries a statutory maximum of 6 months in prison and a fine of $1,000. He was arrested on Oct. 29 according to court records.

Radel, 37, represents the 19th District of Florida, which includes the Gulf Coast communities of Fort Myers and Naples. He was a radio host before becoming a congressman.

A representative for the Republican congressman stated that he has sought help and will continue to seek it for his problem.  During his absence, his staff will continue working.

“Sometimes in life you need a wake up call. This is my wake up call,” Radel said.

He was elected in 2012.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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