Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other Republicans told Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) they didn’t want him to resign and would support him, according to Radel’s father.
“He had a meeting with John Boehner and some of the Republicans,” Skip Radel told Ohio’s The Cincinnati Enquirer. “They told him they didn’t want him to resign, and they wanted to back him.”
According to the report, Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel, declined to comment on the father’s remarks. Steel stood by the statement his office issued Wednesday: “Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts. Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family and his constituents.”
Radel, 37, announced during a late-night news conference Wednesday from his district in Cape Coral, Fla., that he is taking a leave of absence from Congress to seek intensive inpatient treatment. Earlier that day, he pleaded guilty in court in Washington to a misdemeanor cocaine possession charge.
Once the charges surfaced, Radel blamed the situation on his addiction to alcohol.
Radel met with Boehner in the Speaker’s office Tuesday to inform him about the situation, more than two weeks after Radel was caught. He also reportedly called other Republicans in Florida that night and suggested he would serve out his two-year term. The Florida Democratic Party has called for him to resign.
Radel’s father, Skip, said he wants his son to stay in office. He said his son called him last week and shared what happened.
“When I got through the crying, and he got through his crying,” Skip Radel recalled Wednesday afternoon, “he voiced how he didn’t want me to be disappointed in him. He knew he screwed up. And he’s going to try to make it better.”
Radel was first elected to Congress last November and previously worked as a TV news anchor and reporter in Florida. His wife works as a Florida TV journalist. They have one son, who was born in 2011.