Rep. Trey Radel says he'll stay in office after rehab

7:59 PM, Dec 19, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
Rep. Trey Radel (R-Florida) (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)

 


 


(USA TODAY) Rep. Trey Radel said he plans to stay in office, following 28 days in a treatment program required by his guilty plea last month to misdemeanor cocaine possession.

"I'm going to return to what ...you sent me to do," he said in a news conference in Cape Coral Thursday evening.

RELATED: Taxpayers like you to pay Radel's rehab tab

The Florida Republican's announcement comes three days after the House Ethics Committee announced it would investigate Radel to determine whether he violated rules of conduct as a result of the cocaine case.

Radel, 37, pleaded guilty Nov. 20 in District of Columbia Superior Court and was sentenced to supervised probation for one year, ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment and fined $250.

"I've hit a bottom where I realize I need help," Radel said when he appeared in court and admitted purchasing 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover officer.

SEE ALSO: Radel speaks after busted for buying cocaine

The freshman congressman from Fort Myers is the first sitting House member to be arrested on cocaine charges, experts say. At the time of his sentencing, Radel indicated he intended to return to Capitol Hill in January to resume his legislative duties.

Top GOP officials in Florida, including Gov. Rick Scott, have called on the tea party-backed freshman to step down.

MORE: Rep. Radel: "I feel great, except for people harassing me"

A number of potential Republican candidates already are eying the seat, including state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and Chauncey Goss, who was the runner-up in last year's primary.

Former Rep. Connie Mack IV, who preceded Radel in Congress, is considering a run for the seat as well but only if Radel does not seek re-election.

Check out some of our most read stories from 2013:

#shortyellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Terrorism Warning: Memo says terrorists practicing dry-runs on Florida flights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Courtroom apology: Woman apologizes for flipping off judge

Weird ice: Strange, giant circles appear on frozen pond

Controversial Club: College student organizes "White Student Union"

CFO Trouble: School administrative chief in trouble over her porn sex blog

Warning Shot Wife: Mother gets 20 years for firing warning shots at abusive husband

Science Arrest: Teen girl arrested over science project explosion

Wait, WHAT?? Dog shoots man in the leg with a handgun

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Ledyard King, Gannett Washington Bureau

Most Watched Videos