WASHINGTON (WJZ)—A Florida congressman checks himself into rehab a day after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in Washington, D.C. Back in Florida, Rep. Trey Radel speaks publicly about the case.

Kai Jackson has more on his message to constituents.

Congressman Radel says he takes responsibility for what he did.

Florida Congressman Radel is hoping to keep his job after admitting he purchased cocaine.

“I do believe in faith, forgiveness and redemption,” said Rep. Radel, R-Florida.

The 37-year-old Republican is taking a leave of absence from Congress to get treatment for alcohol and substance abuse.

“I hope to come out of this a stronger and better man for all of you,” Radel said.

A judge sentenced Radel to a year of probation Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession. He bought it from an undercover agent during a sting operation in a Washington, D.C.

Prosecutors say the lawmaker routinely bought and used cocaine.

House Speaker John Boehner addressed the freshman congressman’s situation.

“I think at this point, the issue is between he and his family and his constituents,” Boehner said.

Radel’s wife was not with him in court or at his late night news conference in Florida.

“My wife is my rock, and she has been so supportive through this,” Radel said.

But Radel also has to answer to his constituents.

The congressman’s hometown newspaper is calling for his resignation, saying he purposely kept hidden addictions that automatically make him an ineffective leader.

Radel was sentenced to a year of probation. When it’s complete he can apply to have his record expunged.

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