Radel didn’t inform Boehner of arrest until Tuesday

November 20, 2013

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) did not vote Wednesday afternoon on a series of procedural matters hours after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court.

He has given no indication that he will resign his office, and only began informing colleagues of his legal troubles in recent days.

Top GOP aides said Wednesday that they didn't know whether Radel was still in Washington or on his way home to Florida to begin rehabilitation.

Radel first informed House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) of the situation Tuesday afternoon, according to a senior GOP aide familiar with the conversation. Radel had requested the meeting earlier in the day before reports of his arrest first surfaced, and the meeting occurred in Boehner's office at the U.S. Capitol shortly after the news broke, the aide said.

At the Capitol on Wednesday, Boehner ignored questions from reporters regarding Radel.

Other Florida lawmakers said they would reserve judgment on Radel's political future.

Asked what Radel should do now that he's pleaded guilty, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) told reporters, "He's got to reconcile with his family first."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), one of the Sunshine State's longest-serving lawmakers, said she heard from Radel by telephone Tuesday night.

"He is a hard-working, good legislator and I hope that he makes the right decision for him, for his family and his district," Ros-Lehtinen said. "I don’t presume what is best for him. Other members have gotten in trouble. There but for the grace of God go all of us – perfect only God. I'm careful not to cast stones, because I live in a glass house as all of us do."

For more on Radel’s arrest and the days leading up to the public revelations, please click here.

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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