Trey Radel returns to Congress while Fla. Republicans circle his seat
Florida Congressman Trey Radel who pleaded guilty to cocaine possession, will rejoin Congress this week. A Super PAC has already pledged $1 million to a politician planning to challenge him, and Republican Governor Rick Scott has also expressed interest in his seat.
Six weeks after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and checked into a rehab clinic,¬†Florida¬†Congressman¬†Henry "Trey"¬†Radel¬†will rejoin¬†Congress¬†when the new session begins next week, his spokesman said on Friday.
Radel¬†spokesman¬†Greg Dolan¬†declined to immediately confirm a report by Gannett that the Republican representative is enrolled in an out-patient program in Washington. The report said he has joined a peer counseling group, will be randomly drug-tested and meet with a counselor two to five times a week.
Radel, 37, whose election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 had the backing of the conservative Tea Party movement, was charged in November with buying 3.5 grams of cocaine in Washington on October 29, in the presence of an undercover agent.
"I look forward to getting back to work next week, representing my neighbors in¬†Southwest Florida¬†as they face the burdens of Obamacare, a jobless recovery, and a federal government that continues to spend more than it takes in,"¬†Radel¬†said in a statement.
The¬†House Committee on Ethics¬†in December said it would launch an investigation into whether¬†Radel¬†violated congressional rules or broke any other laws related to his responsibilities as a member of¬†Congress.
A Super PAC backed by a real estate developer has already pledged $1 million to a¬†Florida¬†politician who recently filed documents to challenge¬†Radel¬†for his seat in the fall election.
Radel¬†has yet to announce whether he'll seek re-election.
"Politics is the last thing on his mind," Dolan told Reuters on Friday.¬†