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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 11/19/2013

Florida congressman faces charges of cocaine possession

BY ASHLEY PARKER AND MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
NEW YORK TIMES

WASHINGTON — Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., was charged today with misdemeanor possession of cocaine after having been arrested here last month, according to District of Columbia Superior Court documents.

Radel, a freshman legislator, is expected to appear in court Wednesday to answer the charges.

In a statement, Radel, 37, apologized to his family, friends and constituents and said he stood “ready to face the consequences of my actions.”

“I’m profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of southwest Florida,” he said. “I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.”

Radel, whose Oct. 29 arrest was first reported by Politico, said he would seek counseling and treatment, “hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”

“Please keep my family in your prayers,” he said.

If convicted, Radel, whose district includes Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Naples, could be sentenced to 180 days in prison and be fined $1,000.

“Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner. “Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family and his constituents.”

Radel is a former Florida television reporter and a conservative radio talk show host.

He was elected to the House, his first public office, last year with 62 percent of the vote. His seat was previously held by Connie Mack, also a Republican.



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