Trey Radel Update: Congressman Wants To Get Back To Capitol Hill After Rehab
Dec 20, 2013 09:45 AM EST
The Florida congressman arrested and placed in rehab for addiction said on Thursday that he does not plan on resigning now that he completed treatment, NBC News reported.
"I love what I do and I'm going to return to what I do, what you sent me to do in Washington D.C., which is working for you and your family while I relish mine," said Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) in a press conference.
Radel also claimed to use cocaine only "a handful of times" and was never under the influence while carrying out his congressional duties.
"Alcohol does not work for me... It led me down a path that that slowly and surely chipped away at my relationship with my wife, my child and God," Radel added. "And it led to really bad decisions, which put me here today."
In October, Radel was arrested after trying to purchase 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover police officer in D.C. One month later, he plead guilty to his charges and was sentenced to one year probation.
Though he insists on returning to Washington, he mentioned that "politics and re-election are the last thing on my mind right now" and will continue to focus on building the trust of his constituents.
After news broke of the drug scandal, Radel was criticized by fellow lawmakers and pundits for voting to drug test recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). On Thursday, he said he would support drug testing members of Congress as well.
While the south Florida congressman has received the quiet support from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who said the issue is "between Rep. Radel, his family and his constituents," members of the Florida GOP have asked for his resignation.
"His actions clearly disqualify the pursuit of another term and if he should run for re-election, he would not enjoy our support. ... These actions have violated the trust of those whom he was elected to represent and fall short of the standards for an elected official, especially a member of the United States Congress," a statement read.