Republican Rep. Trey Radel, newly elected to office last November, is taking a page out of disgraced Canada mayor Rob Ford‘s coke buying book. The junior congressman from Florida pleaded guilty today (Nov. 20) in court after he was busted buying powder in Washington last month.
Rep. Radel’s troubles began on October 29 where he was caught in a DEA drug sting with the help of a dealer who said one of his clients was a member of Congress. Radel bought 3.5 grams of coke in the deal, and was promptly nabbed on the spot. Yesterday Radel, 37, expressed disappointment in a statement.
“I have let my constituents down, my country down and, most importantly, my wife and child down,” Radel said, also adding he has struggles with alcohol that led to his choice to use coke. “This led to an extremely irresponsible choice. Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions.”
Radel got off lucky with just having to serve a year-long probation and a $250 fine for the misdemeanor charge. The irony of Radel’s arrest, however, is his support of a bill calling for food stamp recipients to be tested for drugs. Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi mentioned Rep. Radel’s folly and threw a jab at the GOP at a Buzzfeed event last night.
“It’s really interesting it came on the heels of Republicans voting on everyone who had access to food stamps get drug tested. It’s like, what?” said Pelosi.
Interesting indeed. The Florida Democratic Party has demanded Radel’s resignation, but the congressman has yet to publicly respond to that request. Radel is the first sitting member of Congress to be busted for drugs since 1982.