Ethics panel closes probe of Trey Radel

The House Ethics panel has ended its probe of former Rep. Trey Radel, the Florida Republican who resigned from Congress on Monday.

In a statement, the chairman and ranking member of the Ethics Committee said they no longer have jurisdiction now that Radel has left office.

“The Investigative Subcommittee began its investigation, but was unable to complete its work before Representative Radel resigned from the House on January 27, 2014,” Chairman Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and ranking member Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

The statement continued: “As a consequence, the Investigative Subcommittee no longer has jurisdiction over him. This statement constitutes the Investigative Subcommittee’s final action regarding this matter.”

The committee in December launched an investigation into the freshman after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. He had been caught purchasing the drug from an undercover police officer in Washington, D.C., the month before. 

The subpanel headed by Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) was looking into whether he violated the House’s Code of Official Conduct or any other laws. 

The closure of the ethics investigation came as little surprise after similar investigations had ended with a member's resignation. However, the decision will likely upset congressional watchdogs who wanted the investigation to determine if any other members or congressional staffers were associated with Radel’s drug use. 

On Monday, Radel resigned from the House, saying he was no longer able to effectively serve his constituents. 

“Unfortunately, some of my struggles had serious consequences," Radel wrote. "While I have dealt with those issues on a personal level, it is my belief that professionally I cannot fully and effectively serve as a United States Representative to the place I love and call home, Southwest Florida.”

Radel had returned earlier this month from a stint in a Florida rehab center for alcohol addiction. He had apologized numerous times and seemed poised to finish out his term before issuing his resignation letter Monday.  

More in News

GOP to launch select panel to probe Planned Parenthood videos

Read more »