Senator charged with OUI could face action in chamber - after court case plays out
Senators should discuss possible action, according to Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, and Senate President Harriette Chandler said this week a decision over whether to take action in the Senate would follow adjudication of Brady's case in the courts.
The Brockton Democrat told police that he was on his way from a "work event" in Boston when he was pulled over in the early morning hours on March 24 after swerving his Chevrolet Sonic down Main Street in Weymouth, nearly entering a parking lot. Unsteady on his feet, glassy-eyed and smelling of alcohol, Brady failed five field sobriety tests and was arrested for operating under the influence, according to the Weymouth Police.
"I'm concerned when any member of the motoring public operates while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant, and certainly I'm concerned when a member of the Senate does that," Tarr, a Gloucester Republican, told the News Service on Thursday.
A Worcester Democrat, Chandler said everyone in the Senate is concerned about Brady and she hopes he will rejoin the chamber.
"We're always concerned when a member has this kind of an issue. We expect more from a senator than that," Chandler told the News Service. "But fortunately he understands the problem and he's in rehab and he wants to take care of the problem. So we're hopeful that he will do so and that he would rejoin the body."
Brady advises the Senate as co-chairman of the Legislature's Revenue Committee, which reviews tax legislation, and vice chairman of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee.
The day after the news broke, Brady on Wednesday announced that he would immediately enter "professional treatment and counseling for alcohol use" with plans to return next week. His office provided no information about where Brady is receiving treatment.
Brady, 55, missed votes on Thursday and the Senate is planning to hold another formal session this upcoming Wednesday to take up bills regulating short-term rentals and establishing a student loan bill of rights.
It's Brady's second time facing drunken driving charges.
Brady called Chandler on Sunday, before the news broke, according to her office.
"He was trying to just tell me what had happened, which is what is normally done during these circumstances," Chandler said.
A law firm since December has been investigating whether Sen. Stan Rosenberg violated any Senate rules in connection with his husband Bryon Hefner's alleged assaulting men with business on Beacon Hill. Hefner was charged Thursday with sexual assault, criminal lewdness and distributing nude photos without consent.
Determining he had violated a House rule, the House in 2014 expelled Carlos Henriquez after he was convicted of assaulting a woman with whom he had been romantically involved.
Tarr said he is unsure whether Brady may have violated any rules of the Senate.
"Obviously a lot of us are concerned about it. Whether or not there has been a transgression of any rules of the Senate to me is still unclear," said Tarr, who hopes "appropriate action is taken by law enforcement and by the individual himself."
Asked whether the Senate should take any action, Tarr said, "Well that's something that I think we need to continue to discuss together."
Chandler said any action along those lines would occur after the case is closed.
"It's in the court system now, and we will see what happens there and then we will make a decision about if the Senate will take action," Chandler said.
Brady's earlier 1999 alleged drunken driving arrest also both occurred in Weymouth.
"The incident being reported is a very serious situation as is any alleged driving violation that involves operating under the influence of alcohol," Weymouth Republican Sen. Patrick O'Connor said in a statement. "I hope that Senator Brady gets the necessary help and assistance he needs. I trust that the court will decide the appropriate responsibility and recommend proper action. I'm thankful for the due diligence of the Weymouth Police in all that they do to keep our residents safe."
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