House sets ground rules for vote on Carlos Henriquez censure

boston carlos henriquez assault
State Rep. Carlos Henriquez appears in court during his arraignment in 2012 on assault charges.
Credit: Boston Herald/Pool photo

The Massachusetts House on Monday set the ground rules for a potential vote to discipline incarcerated Rep. Carlos Henriquez, approving a procedural order that includes an allowance for Henriquez to address his colleagues before they pass judgement.

Henriquez has refused to resign as he appeals his Jan. 15 conviction on assault and battery charges.

With a just a few House members on hand after a day of waiting, the House just before 5 p.m. adopted an order offered by Rep. David Nangle, the Lowell Democrat leading the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into Henriquez, which outlines the voting procedure that will be followed to possibly expel Henriquez from the House.

The House plans its next formal session on Thursday. It’s unclear when or if the committee will file a report.

The order (H 3893) specifies that a simple majority of House members present, after a quorum has been established, will be required to either reprimand, censure or expel a member of the House, and those votes shall be binding with no right to reconsideration or appeal.

If Henriquez is expelled by a majority of his colleagues, his 5th Suffolk District seat would immediately be considered vacant.

The procedure outlined by Nangle’s order is the latest step as the House moves closer to taking action against Henriquez, who has resisted calls from House leaders like Speaker Robert DeLeo to resign and avoid the display of lawmakers publicly voting to oust or discipline one of their own.

Henriquez has been remaining in contact with his State House office aides from jail in Billerica, and on Friday had a letter delivered to the House clerk’s office requesting a six-month leave of absence from the House. The letter was dated Jan. 15 – the day of his conviction – but was not delivered until Jan. 31.

Clerk Steven James said he is still reviewing Henriquez’s request, but it remains unclear whether there is any formal procedure for a lawmaker to take a leave of absence.

Henriquez is serving six months of a two-and-a-half year sentence in the Middlesex House of Correction after a jury convicted him on two counts of assault and battery stemming from a domestic violence incident last summer.

Nangle’s order set up the rules for consideration by the full House of a report of the House Ethics Committee, which has still not been filed. Once a report and recommendation from the committee is introduced on the House floor, only motions to postpone debate or amend the report can be filed.

The “accused,” or in this case Henriquez, would be allowed to address the House after opening remarks by Nangle, and “from time to time” throughout the debate, but cannot vote or be present in the House when members cast their votes.

Since entering jail, Henriquez has twice been transported to the State House in handcuffs by the Middlesex County Sheriff’s office to testify before the House Ethics Committee.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…