Congressman Radel Back On Capitol Hill After Cocaine Bust
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida Congressman Henry “Trey” Radel returned to Capitol Hill this week for the first time since pleading guilty last fall to cocaine possession, being sentenced to a year of probation, and entering a rehab facility.
“I understand how profound this is, the mistakes I’ve made in life and what I need to do to make that up,” said Radel. “Yeah, this is embarrassing. I’ve dragged my family through a lot.”
Family was his focus as Radel talked with CBS affiliate Wink TV Wednesday. Earlier, he had apologized to fellow Republicans, who he called supportive.
“A lot of hugs, a lot of support and it felt really good,” said Radel.
The 37-year-old freshman congressman was arrested in October for buying 3 1/2 grams of cocaine from an undercover agent.
“I experimented with drugs in college, but I was treated for alcoholism,” said Radel. “Alcohol led to some really bad decisions, including me taking accountability for what I’ve done today.”
When asked if he would run for reelection Radel replied, “It is absolutely the last thing on my mind.”
Radel will reportedly meet with GOP leaders before week’s end. Meanwhile, the House Ethics Committee is investigating his actions.
If Radel runs for re-election he will face a fight since challengers are emerging to run for his spot.
Former Florida State Legislator Paige Kreegel is mounting a primary challenge and Congressman Connie Mack is reportedly considering a bid.