WASHINGTON (AP) — Florida congressman Henry “Trey” Radel has been charged with cocaine possession and faces arraignment Wednesday in Washington.
In a statement expressing regret, the 37-year-old Republican freshman lawmaker said Tuesday he struggles with alcoholism and intends to seek treatment and counseling.
Authorities allege that Radel possessed cocaine on Oct. 29. The circumstances of the alleged possession were not immediately known, and a one-sentence court document did not add any details.
He was scheduled to appear Wednesday morning in District of Columbia Superior Court.
“In facing this charge, I realize the disappointment my family, friends and constituents must feel. Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions,” Radel said in a statement.
“However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling,” his statement said. “I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”
The cocaine possession charge, a misdemeanor, carries a statutory maximum of six months in prison and a fine of $1,000.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the allegations would be handled in court.
“Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family and his constituents,” said spokesman Michael Steel.
Radel, 37, was elected in 2012 to represent the 19th District of Florida, which includes the Gulf Coast communities of Fort Myers and Naples. He was a radio host before becoming a congressman. He is married and has a young son.