Trey Radel Announces Leave of Absence Following Arrest for Drug Possession

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Give Trey Radel credit.

As much credit as you can give a congressman who was caught purchasing cocaine from an undercover police officer, that is.

A day after news of Radel's drug possession arrest went public, the Florida politician accepted full responsibility for his actions and announced in a press conference that he is taking a leave of absence.

"I have no excuse for what I've done," Radel told reporters Wednesday. "And I'm not gonna sit here trying to make any excuses for what I've done. I let down our country, I've let down our constituents, I've let down my family, including my wife and even though he doesn't know it, I've let down my 2-year-old son."

Radel was targeted in a D.C. sting last month after a drug dealer told authorities that he has sold to the congressman.

He pleaded guilty in Superior Court yesterday to the charge of cocaine possession.

Radel said he has dealt with alcoholism off and on for years following the "terrible and tragic" death of his mother.

"I hope, like family, southwest Florida can forgive me for this," he added. "I've let them down, but I do believe in faith, forgiveness and redemption and I hope to come out of this a stronger man, a better man, for all of you."

It's unknown for how long Radel's leave of absence will last, but his staff will continue to work in the meantime and he'll donate his salary during this period to charity.

"Sometimes in life you need a wake up call. This is my wake up call," Radel said, confirming that he will seek professional help for substance abuse.

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