Opinion

Massachusetts legislature expels Democratic lawmaker convicted of beating woman

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Massachusetts,Ashe Schow

Lawmakers in Massachusetts voted overwhelmingly to expel state Rep. Carlos Henriquez, who is currently serving six months in jail following a misdemeanor assault conviction.

The Thursday vote was 146-5 in favor of expelling Henriquez, and was the first time a lawmaker had been expelled in nearly a century, according to CBS.

Before the vote, Henriquez proclaimed his innocence and rejected calls asking him to simply resign.

“You may have thought, or think, that this could have been avoided if I resigned, but with all due respect, it is my strong belief that an innocent man does not plea; an innocent man does not quit,” Henriquez said on the House floor.

He was allowed to wear a suit, without handcuffs, and deliver a six-minute speech to other lawmakers.

“As public officials ... and especially as elected officials, we are held to the highest level of scrutiny, as we should be,” Rep. David Nangle, vice chairman of the Massachusetts House Committee on Ethics, said.

The overwhelming vote to expel flew in the face of the NAACP's plea to let Henriquez remain a lawmaker.

Henriquez was convicted Jan. 15 of assaulting 25-year-old Katherine Gonzalves after she refused to have sex with him.

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