Florida Rep. Trey Radel, a first-term Republican congressman who was convicted on cocaine possession charges, will resign from Congress on Monday. Radel's future in Congress had been in question following his guilty plea to misdemeanor cocaine possession after being arrested in Washington, D.C. in November, and a subsequent leave of absence from his official duties to attend rehab.
"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 congressman wrote in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner.News of Radel's plans to resign was first reported by Politico, and was confirmed by an aide to the congressman. Radel had sidestepped questions about whether he intended to resign after his arrest and stint in rehab, and returned to Capitol Hill earlier this month. He apologized to fellow Republican lawmakers during a closed-door meeting on Jan. 8.But Radel's political fortunes had also suffered as a result of the arrest. The Republican Party of Florida had called for the congressman to step down shortly after his arrest, and Radel had drawn a primary challenger in his bid for re-election to his Republican-leaning seat in the House.