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Fla. Governor Says Cocaine Congressman To Resign

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Congressman Henry "Trey" Radel, 37, was arrested during a "buy and bust" operation in Washington. (Source: CBS)

Congressman Henry “Trey” Radel, 37, was arrested during a “buy and bust” operation in Washington. (Source: CBS)

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Politics

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott became the latest public official to say U.S. Representative Trey Radel should resign after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

“I agree with the party chairman,” Scott said, according to the Fort Myers News-Press. “Trey is going through a tough time. My prayers and my wife’s prayers are with his family. But we have to hold all of our elected officials to the highest standards.”

Monday evening, Florida Republican Chairman Lenny Curry also said Radel should resign.

“The people of Florida’s 19th Congressional District need a Congressman who is 100 percent focused on the needs of Southwest Florida,” Curry said in a news release. “Therefore, Congressman Radel should step down and focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family.”

Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession last week, acknowledging that he purchased 3.5 grams of cocaine last month from an undercover police officer. He has since taken a leave of absence and checked himself into a rehabilitation facility.

As part of a plea agreement, Radel admitted he agreed to buy the cocaine for $250 in a Washington neighborhood on Oct. 29. After the undercover officer gave Radel the drugs, federal agents confronted him, court documents show. Radel agreed to talk with the agents and invited them to his apartment, where he also retrieved a vial of cocaine he had in the home, the documents said.

“While the decision to complete the current term is his alone to make, we strongly encourage him to reflect on his ability to remain effective and that a return to Congress may serve only as an impediment to his recovery,” Chairman Mike Lyster said in a release. “We feel it is in the best interests of all involved that he resign immediately.”

Radel spokeswoman Amanda Nunez did not return a telephone phone call Monday night seeking comment. Previously, Radel said he wasn’t going to resign and is seeking treatment for his problems.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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