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Radel resigns from House seat

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January 27, 2014


By Jennifer Springer

Fort Myers, Florida: After months of speculation about his political future, Trey Radel (R) announced his resignation from Congress.[1][2][3]

In his letter of resignation sent to Speaker John Boehner, Radel said, “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.”[1]

Radel's resignation will be effective January 27, 2013, at 6:30pm.[1]

He was arrested in the District of Columbia on October 29, 2013, for possession of cocaine. According to court reports, he bought $260 worth of cocaine from an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent.[4][5] He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation and fined $250.[4]

On November 20, 2013, Radel took a leave of absence in order to enter a substance abuse treatment facility in Florida.[6][7][8][9]

The House Ethics Committee launched a formal investigation into alleged misconduct by Radel on December 16, 2013.[10] The investigative subcommittee, according to a statement, “shall have jurisdiction to determine whether [Radel] violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, with respect to conduct forming the basis for criminal charges of possession of Cocaine in the District of Columbia, to which Representative Radel pled guilty on November 20, 2013.”[10] With Radel's resignation, the investigation will be closed.[1]

On December 19, 2013, Radel left rehab, where he was seeking treatment for his alcohol addiction. He did not discuss future political plans and added, "Politics and re-election are the last thing on my mind right now."[11][12]

Top Republican leaders in Florida — including the Gov. Rick Scott and top party officials — publicly called on Radel to resign. Radel ignored the calls and returned to Washington at the beginning of January 2014.[1][13][14][15]

On January 8, 2014, after returning to Washington D.C., Radel apologized to House Republicans in a closed-door meeting, saying that the episode helped bring him closer to his wife and child.[16][17][18]

A special election is expected to be set by Gov. Rick Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner.[19][20]

Radel is a former journalist, TV anchor and radio talk-show host.[21] He had never held public office before winning election to the 19th District on on November 6, 2012.[21]

See also

Ballotpedia News


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Politico, "Trey Radel to resign House seat," accessed January 27, 2014
  2. NY Daily News, "Trey Radel to resign from Congress after cocaine scandal," accessed January 27, 2014
  3. USA Today, "Rep. Trey Radel to resign from Congress," accessed January 27, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1, "Florida Congressman Pleads Guilty To Cocaine Possession," accessed November 20, 2013
  5. Politico, "Rep. Trey Radel charged with cocaine possession," accessed November 19, 2013
  6. "Rep. Trey Radel to take leave of absence, enter drug treatment," accessed November 21, 2013
  7. Washington Post, "Rep. Trey Radel of Florida to take leave of absence after guilty plea to cocaine charge," accessed November 21, 2013
  8. USA Today, "Rep. Radel takes leave of absence after cocaine charge," accessed November 21, 2013
  9. ABC News, "Florida Rep. Trey Radel to Take Leave of Absence After Cocaine Charge," accessed November 25, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 Roll Call, "Ethics Committee Will Investigate Trey Radel," accessed December 17, 2013
  11. The Hill, "Rep. Radel leaves rehab, won't say if he'll seek re-election," accessed December 20, 2013
  12. Talking Points Memo, "Radel To Return To Congress, Undecided On 2014," accessed December 23, 2013
  13. USA Today, "Fla. Gov. Scott says Rep. Radel should resign," accessed November 27, 2013
  14. WPRO, "Florida AG Is Latest Republican Calling for Radel’s Resignation," accessed November 27, 2013 (dead link)
  15. WWSB, "GOP of Florida asks Congressman to step down," accessed November 26, 2013
  16. NBC News, "Florida Rep. Radel to resign after coke conviction," accessed January 27, 2014
  17. Politico, "Trey Radel apologizes to GOP," accessed January 13, 2014
  18. Real Clear Politics, "Florida Rep. Radel Apologizes to GOP Colleagues," accessed January 13, 2014
  19. National Review, "Rep. Trey Radel to Resign; Special Election Expected," accessed January 27, 2014
  20. National Journal, "Trey Radel Resignation Starts Scramble for Safe Republican Seat," accessed January 27, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 ABC-7, "Rep. Radel arrested in DC for cocaine possession," accessed November 19, 2013