House votes to expel Henriquez after conviction - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

House votes to expel Henriquez after conviction

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BOSTON (WHDH) - The state House of Representatives has expelled state Rep. Carlos Henriquez, who is serving a six-month jail sentence after being convicted of assaulting a former girlfriend.

The 146-5 vote came after less than two hours of debate. The expulsion takes effect immediately.

"The committee conducted an independent investigation, reviewing 11 police reports, 78 exhibits and nearly 1000 pages of trial testimony, and found that a representative could not serve as a member while incarcerated in jail after being convicted of two charges of a serious nature," said House Speaker Robert DeLeo in a press release.

Henriquez, a Democrat, addressed the chamber prior to the vote, again declaring his innocence. He was brought in from jail, with the cuffs still on, although they were removed prior to the session.

He said he chose not to heed calls to resign after his conviction because "an innocent man doesn't quit."

“You may have thought or hoped that could have been avoided if I resigned but it's my strong belief that an innocent man does not plea and an innocent man does not quit,” Henriquez said.

Henriquez left the chamber immediately after speaking. He was not allowed to vote.

There is no rule against being convicted or in jail, but what the House got him for is for impaired independent judgment. They said he didn't have it and couldn't have it and sit in session.

He's the first member to be expelled from the chamber in nearly a century.
  
Lawmakers rejected by a 143-10 vote an amendment filed by Rep. Russell Holmes of Boston that would have called for the censure, but not dismissal, of Henriquez. Some argued that censure could have been a more appropriate penalty.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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