Congressman in Coke Bust to Take Leave, Donate Salary

Radel's downfall is good news for sheep ranchers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2013 12:04 AM CST
Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel, R-Fla, is seen on Capitol Hill earlier this year,   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – In a move that a certain Canadian mayor could probably learn a little from, Rep. Trey Radel plans to take a leave of absence—and surrender his pay—while he is being treated for addiction problems. The freshman Republican, sentenced to a year of probation after pleading guilty to cocaine possession, announced as he returned to Florida last night that he was taking a leave of absence for an unspecified time, CNN reports. "I have no excuse for what I have done," he said, apologizing for letting down his country and his family.

Radel said he "grew up with a mom who struggled with alcoholism," adding that "I don't want my son to struggle with that." Radel, a Tea Party favorite and former TV anchor, made the most of social media but failed to make much legislative impact during his 10 months in the House, the Washington Post finds. He fought hard to cut the roughly $1 million used to fund the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, but while the motion narrowly passed, it is now in committee and his downfall boosts the sheep center's chances of survival.

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