Three months after cocaine arrest, Congressman Trey Radel resigns

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
Font Size:

Three months after he was arrested for cocaine possession, Florida Rep. Trey Radel resigned his seat in Congress on Monday.

“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 in a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, officially announcing his resignation.

Radel’s resignation will be effective as of 6:30 p.m. on Monday.

The Florida congressman was arrested on October 29 for possession of cocaine. On November 20, he pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to one year of partially supervised probation. He said he suffered from alcoholism, which had led him to make bad decisions regarding drugs, and he took a leave of absence from Congress to enter rehab in Florida.

“Unfortunately, some of my struggles had serious consequences,” Radel wrote in his resignation letter, saying that he had “dealt with those issues on a personal level,” but that it was hindering his work as a member of Congress.

Calls for Radel to resign began almost immediately after the news broke, but Radel ignored the sentiments — many of them from top Florida Republicans — and insisted initially that he would retain his seat. Paige Kreegel, a former state representative, had already stepped forward to challenge him in the Republican primary.

Follow Alexis on Twitter

Alexis Levinson