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Government

Congressional Ethics Panel Will Investigate Trey Radel

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 A congressional ethics panel recently announced plans to formally investigate Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fort Myers, following his guilty plea for cocaine possession last month.

A bipartisan congressional panel will determine whether Radel violated the House Code of Conduct or broke any other laws during his year in Congress. The ethics committee could also formally reprimand Radel.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a congressional watchdog, has been calling on Congress to launch a thorough investigation of Radel’s run-in with the law.

However, CREW’s Melanie Sloan said the investigation will likely only be “cursory” because congressional leaders have said this issue has been resolved with the Justice Department’s resolution of Radel’s case.

However, Sloan said there are still a lot of important questions that haven’t been answered.

"Trey Radel only lived in Washington D.C. for ten months," she said. "Exactly how did he find a drug dealer in Dupont Circle? Who made the introduction? He also said he shared drugs with other people and who were those other people? A new member of Congress likely spent most of his time with other members of Congress and congressional staff. So, were those the people with whom he both purchased cocaine and shared cocaine? If there were other people from Congress involved I think the Ethics needs to know and take appropriate action."

Radel is currently at a Naples in-patient facility receiving substance abuse treatment. He was sentenced to one year probation after federal officials caught him buying cocaine during a sting operation.

Even though Florida Republican leaders have asked him to resign, Radel has said he will stay in office.