A state senator from Brockton was stripped of a chairmanship Thursday night following an ethics investigation of his behavior during an arrest for drunken driving in Weymouth last year.
The Senate Committee on Ethics found that Senator Michael D. Brady, a Democrat, violated a rule that prohibited a member from using or trying to use “improper means to influence an agency, board, authority, commission of the Commonwealth,” according to a report released Thursday.
The committee recommended he be removed as the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Public Service, a post that includes a $16,000 annual stipend.
The full state Senate voted to adopt the recommendations of the ethics committee Thursday night, according to Senate President Karen E. Spilka’s office.
“The process undertaken by this committee has been difficult but necessary,” said Spilka in a statement.
In a statement, Brady apologized to his colleagues, and said he has taken “full responsibility for my actions.”
“I pled to the charges because I was driving under the influence,” he said. “Being under the influence and due to the time that has lapsed, I do not have full recollection of the events that took place.”
Brady said he never “intended to suggest to anybody that I was above the law, or that special standards should apply to me.”
“As someone with substance abuse disorder, the road to recovery is a difficult one but I am fully committed to my recovery and to continue serving my constituents with honor,” he said.
Brady, who previously served as a state representative, was elected to the Senate in 2015, according to his State House biography.
Weymouth police pulled his car over in the early morning hours of March 24, 2018. Police said he was unsteady on his feet, he slurred his words, and his breath smelled of alcohol.
During the traffic stop, a police officer had asked where Brady was coming from and he replied a work event. Brady acknowledged he had been drinking, according to the report.
The senator also acknowledged handing the officer a State House identification card. He told the committee “he was nervous and fumbling around in his glove compartment for his registration” and that he was having trouble reaching his driver’s license in his wallet, which was in his back pocket.
The officer said that Brady told him during the stop that he was a state senator, something that Brady did not remember saying but he also did not dispute, according to the committee’s report.
When the committee asked whether Brady offered his State House ID in an attempt to influence field sobriety tests, Brady replied, “I don’t know,” according to the report.
The committee pressed Brady on his claim that he had been coming from a work event when he was stopped. Brady told the committee the event was a community celebration held in Brockton on the afternoon of March 24.
His account of what happened next becomes less clear, according to the committee.
Brady said he drove to Boston to pick someone up from Logan Airport and that he tried to park in the North End but couldn’t find parking. He needed to use a restroom, so he drove to the State House and used facilities there, according to the report.
He then stopped somewhere nearby and did shots of whiskey with “young people,” according to authorities. He did not pick anyone up at the airport and at about 2 a.m. he tried to drive home to Brockton.
The ethics committee found that Brady “failed to adequately address his statement that he was coming from a work event, that he presented his State House identification card” to a police officer during the stop, and that “he identified himself as a state senator.”
During the stop, Brady failed several field sobriety tests, police said, and his license was suspended for nearly six months after he refused to take a breathalyzer test.
Earlier this year, Brady admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of operating under the influence. Under his plea agreement, Brady’s case was continued without a finding for a year, in which he’ll be on probation.