State Sen. James Marzilli, awaiting trial for sexually harassing four women in Lowell, resigned last Friday from the Senate.
The announcement came one day after Marzilli drew criticism for a trip last month to Germany, where he represented the Massachusetts Senate at an environmental forum and also attended a business and academic conference.
The Arlington Democrat offered his resignation in a one-sentence letter delivered to Senate President Therese Murray. It read: “I hereby offer my resignation, effective at 5PM on Friday, November 14.”
Marzilli did not seek reelection and his term was scheduled to expire in January.
“Jim Marzilli has made the right decision for the Massachusetts Senate, the citizens of the Commonwealth, and himself,” Murray said in a statement.
The Senate president also called on another embattled senator to take Marzilli’s lead and step down.
“As we have stated previously in our strongest voice, Dianne Wilkerson should follow this example and resign immediately,” she said.
Wilkerson, a Boston Democrat, was indicted Tuesday on eight counts of attempted extortion. She was photographed by the FBI allegedly stuffing bribe money under her sweater.
Following her arrest last month, Wilkerson ended her write-in campaign for reelection but said on Nov. 5 that she would not resign immediately because she wants an orderly transition.
The Senate earlier passed a resolution urging her to resign and referred her matter to the Senate Ethics Committee.
Neither Marzilli — whose case had also been referred to the ethics panel — nor his attorney, Terrence Kennedy, immediately returned calls seeking comment on the resignation.
Kennedy said last Thursday that Marzilli had attended the environmental forum before and did nothing wrong by going this year.
“He violated no court order or no law by going there. It was not Senate-related, and it was a very short trip,” Kennedy said. “Frankly, it’s getting way overblown.”
Marzilli said that the trip was privately funded and no tax dollars were spent.
Marzilli faces criminal charges accusing him of harassing four women in Lowell in June. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was released on $1,500 bail. He later was treated at a psychiatric hospital.
Marzilli spent 17 years in the House before winning a special election in December 2007 to fill a vacant seat in the Senate. His district includes Arlington, Billerica, Burlington and parts of Lexington and Woburn.
In the Senate chamber, members voted unanimously to demand the resignation of state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson after she was arrested by federal agents on charges of accepting nearly $25,000 in bribes. The state Senate was already reeling after state Sen. James Marzilli was arrested on charges he sexually harassed four women following a government meeting in Lowell. More »
Massachusetts state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, who was photographed by the FBI allegedly stuffing bribe money under her sweater, ended her write-in campaign for re-election. Hours later, Gov. Deval Patrick announced he was creating a panel to pursue comprehensive ethics reform in state government. More »