GOP Rep. Busted for Cocaine Resigns From Congress

Rep. Trey Radel, the freshman Republican congressman convicted of cocaine possession, resigned his seat Monday amid the “serious consequences” of his “personal struggles.”

This Sept. 3, 2013, file photo shows Rep. Henry “Trey” Radel, R-Fla., on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

“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,” the first-term Republican representative said in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Radel pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession in November after he was caught buying cocaine from an undercover agent. He was sentenced to one year of probation. He acknowledged having an alcohol problem and underwent rehabilitation treatment before returning to Congress this month.

Radel added that as an “eternal optimist, I know there are good 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.”

Asked about the resignation on MSNBC Monday morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Radel was “absolutely” doing the right thing.

Read Radel’s letters to Boehner, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Florida Gov. Rick Scott:

This post has been updated.