11/20/2013 11:18 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Florida lawmaker to take leave of absence, donate salary after pleading guilty to drug charge

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Florida Republican Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel says he's taking a leave of absence from Congress and donating his salary to charity after pleading guilty to a misdemeanour charge of cocaine possession and receiving a sentence of a year's probation.

Radel made the announcement late Wednesday at a news conference where he acknowledged that he had let down his country, his family and southwest Florida residents.

He said that he takes responsibility for what he did, saying, quote, "I want to be a better man."