Posted: Friday, 20 December 2013 5:02AM

Florida Rep. Trey Radel Exits Rehab Following Cocaine Conviction

US Congress(CAPE CORAL, Fla.) -- Florida Republican Congressman Trey Radel left a drug rehab facility Thursday, one month after pleading guilty to cocaine possession charges, and refused to resign, saying the incident was a “personal issue on personal time.”

Speaking at a news conference at his district office in Cape Coral, Radel said his drug and alcohol abuse never interfered with his official duties.

“This was my personal issue on personal time.  It was after work,” Radel said. 

The congressman said he wants to rebuild the trust of voters.

This week, the House Ethics Committee announced it would investigate Radel to see whether he violated rules of conduct as a result of his guilty plea.  Radel said on Thursday he would cooperate with congressional investigators.

Authorities say the 37-year-old first-term lawmaker purchased a small quantity of cocaine from an undercover federal agent in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 29.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News Radel became the target of an undercover sting operation after a suspected cocaine dealer under investigation by a joint Drug Enforcement Administration/FBI task force told agents that one of his customers was the Florida congressman.

The Florida Republican was placed on one year probation at his sentencing last month.

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