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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.