U.S. Representative Trey Radel (R-FL) was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday, Politico reports. He is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
According to the charging document, he was arrested on October 29. He faces a maximum penalty of 180 days in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.
In a statement released by his office, Radel apologized for his actions — but gave no indication of whether he plans to resign from office.
“I’m profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida,” Radel 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.”
“Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions,” he added. “However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling. I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”
Radel, a former television reporter, was elected with Tea Party support in 2012 to fill the seat that Connie Mack IV vacated in an unsuccessful Senate race. He frequently references his “conservative values,” and is perhaps best known for lobbying Republican leadership to allow himself and his fellow House freshmen to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, “even if it’s just symbolic.”
In a statement, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) declined to speculate on Radel’s future in the caucus.
“Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts,” he said. “Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents.”
Copyright 2013 The National Memo