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Under House ethics committee rules, an investigation can be launched by a majority vote of the committee members within 30 days after a lawmaker is indicted or formally charged with criminal conduct.
"Cocaine possession by a government official sworn to uphold the law is no small matter," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group. "If House Speaker John Boehner does not demand his prompt resignation, the ethics committee should recommend Rep. Radel be expelled."
are frequently described as conservative.
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Can Trey Radel stay in Congress after cocaine charge
Radel, a freshman elected last year with Tea Party support, said he has checked himself into an in patient rehab facility for treatment and counseling. He was sentenced Wednesday to one year of probation and a $250 fine after admitting he bought cocaine in Washington from an undercover officer during a sting conducted by several federal agencies.
"He's hopeful that time will heal, but there's a lot of dynamics going on that make it a high hurdle," said Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida.
Radel's district is a GOP stronghold and overwhelmingly voted for Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. More than one Adidas Primeknit Fs Unboxing
Speaker John Boehner declined to say whether Radel should resign or be punished by the House. "I believe that members of Congress should be held to the highest ethical standard," Boehner said in his first public comments about the case. "The issue is between he and his family and his constituents."
Story HighlightsRep. Trey Radel, R Fla., takes leave of absence after pleading guilty to cocaine possessionRadel admitted to buying 3.5 grams of cocaineHouse Speaker John Boehner says matter is between Radel, family and constituents
Back home in Florida, calls for Radel's resignation have come from The News Press editorial board in Fort Myers, the state Democratic Party and its chapter in Lee County, one of the counties in the Gulf Coast area district. Here in Washington, GOP leaders have maintained the same stance as Boehner, saying the matter is up to Radel, his family and people who live in the 19th Congressional District.
"The ultimate question the House ethics committee needs to ask is whether or not this conduct is strictly personal in nature or has some bearing on official duties," said Elliot Berke, a lawyer at McGuireWoods and a former counsel to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R Ill.
Radel announced Wednesday night that he will take a leave of absence and donate his salary to charity. His emotional news conference came hours after he appeared in District of Columbia Superior Court to answer the misdemeanor drug possession charge.
gone into treatment for addictions while in office but did not resign amid scrutiny.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog group, filed a complaint with the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to investigate Radel and determine whether other members of Congress or staff bought or used cocaine with Radel. OCE vets complaints against members of Congress before referring them to the full House ethics committee for action.
in four residents who live in the 19th District are over 65, and residents Adidas Los Angeles White Junior
"It is my hope, through this process, I will come out a better man," he said in a statement released Thursday. "I will work hard to gain back the trust and support of my constituents, friends and most importantly, my family."
If an inquiry isn't Adidas Neo Pink And White initiated, the committee must submit a report to the House describing its reasons for not launching an investigation and what action, if any, was taken.
The Florida Republican's political future remains in doubt, as calls for Radel to resign grow louder. At the same time, he could face punishment from his House colleagues if the ethics committee takes action.
WASHINGTON Rep. Trey Radel's decision to seek treatment after pleading guilty to a cocaine possession charge may be only the beginning of his troubles.
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