Rep. Radel to Return to House After Rehab, Cocaine Plea

Thursday, Jan 2, 2014  |  Updated 1:41 PM PDT
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Florida Congressman Trey Radel spoke at a news conference on Dec. 19 after he left a rehab facility.

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Florida Congressman Trey Radel: "Alcohol Does Not Work for Me"

Florida Congressman Trey Radel said Thursday that he will stay in office, shortly after he left a Naples rehab facility. As his news conference began, he thanked members of the public for their prayers, support and encouragement. Radel said that he is working to recover one day at a time as he is treated for alcoholism.
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Florida Congressman Trey Radel will return to work on Capitol Hill next week, ending a leave of absence that began after he pleaded guilty to a cocaine possession charge, a spokesman for him told NBC News Thursday.

"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.

The freshman Republican, who represents Florida's 19th Congressional District, has said he will not step down from his House seat.

Radel was sentenced to one year of probation after his November guilty plea for cocaine possession, a misdemeanor. He acknowledged that he bought 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover police officer.

Afterward he entered a rehab program for alcoholism in Naples.

He stayed at the Hazelden addiction treatment facility for nearly a month, leaving it on Dec. 19. In a news conference that day, Radel said he planned to keep serving his constituents but would not give a timeframe for his return to the nation’s capital.

“Politics and re-election are the absolute last thing on my mind right now," he said then.

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