Radel Faces Ethics Inquiry After Drug Bust

Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) speaks during a press conference, on Capitol Hill, July 9, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Billy House
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Billy House
Dec. 16, 2013, 11:47 a.m.

Con­gres­sion­al eth­ics watch­dogs have de­cided to in­vest­ig­ate wheth­er the House should hand down its own pun­ish­ment to Rep. Trey Radel for his mis­de­mean­or co­caine-pos­ses­sion con­vic­tion last month.

The de­cision was an­nounced Monday by the House Eth­ics Com­mit­tee’s chair­man, Rep. Mi­chael Con­away, R-Texas, and rank­ing mem­ber Linda Sanc­hez, D-Cal­if., in a joint state­ment.

A sub­pan­el of mem­bers from the GOP-chaired com­mit­tee will con­duct an ini­tial in­quiry to de­term­ine if House rules were vi­ol­ated. Any re­com­mend­a­tions for pun­it­ive ac­tion would then go to the full com­mit­tee.

The fo­cus of that in­quiry will be to de­term­ine wheth­er Radel, R-Fla., “vi­ol­ated the Code of Of­fi­cial Con­duct or any law, rule, reg­u­la­tion or oth­er ap­plic­able stand­ard of con­duct in the per­form­ance of his du­ties or the dis­charge of his re­spons­ib­il­it­ies with re­spect to con­duct” that led to the his ar­rest and guilty plea, said Con­away and Sanc­hez in their joint state­ment.

Po­ten­tial House ac­tions against Radel could range from a “let­ter of re­prov­al” to a re­com­mend­a­tion for ex­pul­sion.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Charlie Dent, R-Pa., will serve as the chair­man of the in­vest­ig­at­ing sub­com­mit­tee. Reps. Yvette Clark, D-N.Y., Mar­sha Black­burn, R-Tenn., and Janice Hahn, D-Cal­if., will also serve on the pan­el.

Ul­ti­mately, there could be a pub­lic Eth­ics Com­mit­tee tri­al if Radel were to fight any charges brought against him.

The 37-year-old fresh­man law­maker is be­lieved to be the first sit­ting House mem­ber ar­res­ted on a co­caine charge. Court doc­u­ments say he bought 3.5 grams of co­caine from an un­der­cov­er po­lice of­fice in Wash­ing­ton’s Dupont Circle on Oct. 29, as part of a fed­er­al in­vest­ig­a­tion.

He was not form­ally charged un­til Nov. 19, and pleaded guilty to the mis­de­mean­or charge the next day, re­ceiv­ing a sen­tence of one year of pro­ba­tion and a $250 fine.

Radel has taken a leave of ab­sence from his le­gis­lat­ive du­ties with an eye to re­turn­ing in Janu­ary, and had vol­un­tar­ily en­rolled in an in­pa­tient sub­stance-ab­use pro­gram.

“Con­gress­man Radel has ac­know­ledged and ac­cep­ted full re­spons­ib­il­ity for his ac­tions and is com­mit­ted to con­tinu­ing and com­plet­ing a treat­ment pro­gram that will help him over­come his per­son­al prob­lems,” said a Radel spokes­man, Greg Dolan. “He ex­pec­ted that the House Eth­ics Com­mit­tee would look in­to the mat­ter and in­tends to ap­pro­pri­ately ad­dress the in­vest­ig­a­tion ini­ti­ated by the House Eth­ics Com­mit­tee.”

Wash­ing­ton-based law­yer Dav­id Schertler, who rep­res­en­ted Radel in the crim­in­al case, said he is also rep­res­ent­ing the law­maker in the eth­ics mat­ter. He said they have not yet re­ceived any re­quest to ap­pear be­fore the pan­el and have not done so.

Sources say the Eth­ics Com­mit­tee met privately on sev­er­al mat­ters last week pri­or to the House ad­journ­ing for the year, in­clud­ing a ses­sion Thursday to dis­cuss the Radel case.

What We're Following See More »
WROTE LAW THAT WEAKENED OPIOID OVERSIGHT
Trump: Marino Withdrawing Nomination for Drug Czar
21 hours ago
THE LATEST
Doesn’t Express Confidence in Marino
Trump to Declare Opioid Emergency Next Week
1 days ago
THE LATEST

After initially promising it in August, "President Trump said Monday that he will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic." When asked, he also "declined to express confidence in Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), his nominee for drug czar, in the wake of revelations that the lawmaker helped steer legislation making it harder to act against giant drug companies."

Source:
IN LIGHT OF 60 MINUTES REVELATIONS
Manchin Asks Trump to Drop Marino’s Nomination for Drug Czar
1 days ago
THE LATEST
WOULD OVERTURN MARINO LEGISLATION ON DRUG DISTRIBUTORS
McCaskill Will Introduce Bill in Response to “60 Minutes” Scoop
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

In the wake of Sunday's blockbuster 60 Minutes/Washington Post report on opioid regulation and enforcement, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has introduced legislation that "would repeal a 2016 law that hampered the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to regulate opioid distributors it suspects of misconduct." In a statement, McCaskill said: “Media reports indicate that this law has significantly affected the government’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors that are failing to meet their obligations and endangering our communities."

Source:
EVACUATION DRILL STARTS NEXT MONDAY
U.S. Military to Practice Evacuating Americans in S. Korea
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The United States military said on Monday that it would practice evacuating noncombatant Americans out of South Korea in the event of war and other emergencies, as the two allies began a joint naval exercise amid heightened tensions with North Korea. The evacuation drill, known as Courageous Channel, is scheduled from next Monday through Friday and is aimed at preparing American 'service members and their families to respond to a wide range of crisis management events such as noncombatant evacuation and natural or man-made disasters,' the United States military said in a statement."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login