Politics

Cuffed Carlos Henriquez back at State House

Jailed lawmaker faces ethics panel

State Representative Carlos Henriquez was escorted to an elevator at the State House after he answered more questions Tuesday from the Ethics Committee.

WENDY MAEDA/GLOBE STAFF

State Representative Carlos Henriquez was escorted to an elevator at the State House after he answered more questions Tuesday from the Ethics Committee.

Representative Carlos Henriquez, convicted and jailed on two misdemeanor assault counts, returned to the State House Tuesday for the second time in five days, facing more questions from the Ethics Committee as House leaders prod him to resign.

Appearing again in handcuffs and a collared shirt with no tie, Henriquez declined to answer a question about whether he planned to relinquish his seat.

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The state representative met with the disciplinary panel Tuesday morning, exiting the first-floor hearing room roughly an hour after he entered. Henriquez last met with the committee Friday, coming from and returning to the Middlesex House of Correction.

Ethics Committee deliberations are secret, with members forbidden from discussing them even with other colleagues.

For Henriquez to be expelled from the Legislature, the Ethics Committee would need to make a recommendation to the full House, which could then vote on it.

The second-term Dorchester Democrat was convicted this month of holding down a woman and punching her in the chest when she refused to have sex with him. He is appealing, and his attorney has questioned the fairness of his trial, asserting that he was tried by an all-white jury.

Henriquez, 37, continues as a state representative while serving his jail sentence. He has refused calls from the governor, the House speaker, and the mayor to resign.

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No lawmaker had entered the State House in handcuffs in decades, if ever, though other convicted lawmakers have returned to face colleagues.

In 1977, Senate majority leader Joseph DiCarlo bucked a Senate effort to remove him from office. Convicted of extorting $40,000 from a consulting firm overseeing construction of the University of Massachusetts Boston campus, DiCarlo and another senator were sentenced to a year in jail.

But their sentences were deferred pending appeals, allowing DiCarlo to take to the floor of the Senate and deliver an angry, 17-minute speech in which he proclaimed his innocence.

According to the House clerk’s office, the House last expelled one of its members in 1906, when Frank J. Gethro , a Boston Democrat, was pushed out amid bribery charges.

Henriquez’s Twitter account solicited support for the lawmaker Tuesday, asking Roxbury residents to contact House Speaker Robert DeLeo: “If you live in Roxbury and feel that Carlos has helped the community, e-mail the speaker to share your support.”

Stephanie Soriano-Mills, Henriquez’s lawyer, said she was unsure who had been tweeting from Henriquez’s account, saying that it was probably a family member.

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at Jim.OSullivan@globe.com.
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