House votes to expel state Rep. Carlos Henriquez
The Massachusetts House voted 146-5 today to expel state Rep. Carlos Henriquez, despite his spirited defense delivered from the floor of the House.
Henriquez, who was convicted in January on two counts of assault on a woman, maintained his innocence.
“Contrary to what my accuser has said, domestic violence has never been perpetrated by me on the night of July 7, 2012 or any other time,” he said in a prepared statement.
House Ethics Committee Vice Chairman David Nangle cited Henriquez’s criminal conviction as evidence he violated the Legislatures code of conduct.
“Sometimes as legislators we must act with heavy hearts, but we still must act in the best interests of the constituents of the entire Commonwealth,” he said.
Henriquez was given 2 ½ year sentence with two years suspended, plus two years of probation.
He has been brought to the State House in handcuffs from the Middlesex County House of Correction to meet twice with the Ethics Committee last week before appearing for today’s vote.
Henriquez says he plans to appeal his conviction. He has not yet commented on whether he will challenge the House vote to strip him of his office.
The New England Chapter of the NAACP released a statement to news media urging the House not to expel Henriquez and arguing that his conviction on two misdemeanor counts does not constitute a violation of existing House rules.