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Recent cases suggest bias in Mass. justice

Yawu Miller | 3/26/2014, 10:26 a.m.

Others who voted against expelling Henriquez, including Somerville Rep. Carl Sciortino, argued the same point.

“The Legislature opened up a slippery slope that allows them to remove anyone at any time they choose,” said Soriano-Mills.

Other state representatives who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes in recent years were not expelled from the Legislature. Former state Rep. Paul Kujowski was convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence in 2004 and remained in the House. Former state Rep. Anthony Galluccio, who had two prior convictions for driving under the influence, pleaded guilty in December 2009 to leaving the scene of a car crash in which he rear-ended a car, injuring two occupants.

Galluccio was sentenced to six months of home confinement, during which he was to be allowed to cast votes in the Senate, but after failing a court-ordered Breathalyzer test, he was sentenced to a year in prison.

He resigned his house seat in January 2010.

When House leadership and other elected officials including Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Martin Walsh asked Henriquez to resign his seat he refused, maintaining his innocence. His lawyer, Stephanie Soriano Mills, said he may be released as soon as next month.

Although, in arguing for his expulsion, House leaders said Henriquez’s confinement would prevent him from discharging the duties of his office, Soriano Mills says Henriquez could likely be freed before April 14, two weeks before his successor is seated.

Five Democrats are vying for the seat he vacated in a special election primary that will be held April 1. The general election will be held April 29, the same day nomination papers for the Nov. 5 election are due.

Henriquez’s supporters say he will likely run in November for re-election to the seat from which he was expelled.