On Thursday, February 06, 2014, State Representative Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn) joined in a bi-partisan vote to remove State Representative Carlos Henriquez (D-Boston) as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Carlos Henriquez was convicted by a jury on two counts of a violent crime against a woman on January 15, 2014 and is to serve 6 months in prison. The House Speaker called for the House Committee on Ethics to review the matter and make a recommendation to the House.
The House Committee on Ethics held three meetings, after which the bi-partisan committee unanimously voted to recommend the expulsion of Rep. Henriquez. The House voted to adopt the recommendation and remove Carlos Henriquez on Thursday, February 6, 2014. Frost voted for removal and it was passed on a vote of 146 to 5 to remove Rep. Henriquez. There was amendment to lessen the punishment by allowing Henriquez to remain a member which failed on a vote of 143 to 10. Frost voted against the amendment which would have allowed Henriquez to remain a member of the House.
Frost states, “It was a sad historic day in the House Chamber. Not the kind of historic day you want to say you were a part of, but one that had to be done. The last time the Massachusetts House removed a member was in 1916. By being convicted by a jury of a violent crime against a woman, Carlos Henriquez was no longer suited to serve as a member of the House. Serving his legislative term in jail was also an option the House should not allow and did not allow by taking action to remove him. Though it is unfortunate a member must be removed in this fashion, it was the right thing for the House to do as it would have sent the wrong message to allow him to stay as a member. Violent acts, including domestic violence, are something we as a state legislature need to stand against. Having a member convicted by a jury of such a crime, had to be and was, dealt with by removal.”