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Congressman Radel resigns through letter

January 27, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Florida congressman who pleaded guilty to cocaine-possession charges last year will resign, his spokesman said Monday, after several GOP leaders requested that he step down.

Rep. Trey Radel, R-District 19, has sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner as well as Gov. Rick Scott.

His Cape Coral office said this morning it has no information and referred questions as to whether they could confirm the resignation report and whether a press conference would be forthcoming to his Washington D.C. office.

Media relations officials there confirmed the resignation Monday morning and the congressman's letter was released after it is sent.

On Nov. 20, Radel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession and was sentenced to a year of probation. He admitted to purchasing 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover officer Oct. 29 in Washington.

Several GOP leaders, including Gov. Rick Scott, had asked him to resign. But Radel had pledged to stay in office and rebuild constituents' trust after completing in-patient treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.

He entered rehab on Nov. 21.

Radel had been in office for 10 months when charged. His district includes the Gulf Coast cities of Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Naples.

The House Ethics Committee announced last month that it was launching a formal investigation of the congressman.

-The Associated Press

Here is the letter sent to the Speaker of the House.

Mr. Speaker:

It has been an honor to serve my neighbors, friends and family of Florida's 19th Congressional District.

Regardless of some personal struggles in 2013, this year has already been tremendously positive as I focus on my health, family and faith.

Unfortunately, some of my struggles had serious consequences. While I have dealt with those issues on a personal level, 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.

I hereby submit this letter of resignation as the Representative of the 19th District of Florida, effective 6:30 p.m. (EST) Jan. 27, 2014. Please find the attached letter I have submitted to Governor Rick Scott.

On a personal note, Mr. Speaker, to you and our colleagues from both parties, I thank you. Thank you for the tremendous support and encouragement. Oftentimes in Congress, our personal relationships and successes are overshadowed by intense but meaningful and necessary debate. However, I leave the House of Representatives with friendships and memories of great men and women dedicated to helping and improving the lives of our fellow Americans.

As an eternal optimist, I know there are great things in store for our country when we find ways to work together. Whether it is as a father, a husband, or in any future endeavor, I hope to contribute what I can to better our country in the years to come.

Trey Radel

Member of Congress



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