Senate ousts Brady from chairmanship
Rule violation stems from drunk driving arrest
This story was updated to reflect the vote Thursday night of the full Senate.
THE SENATE OUSTED Sen. Michael Brady from his position as chairman of the Public Service Committee Thursday because of his behavior during a night of drinking and driving more than a year ago.
The ouster was adopted by a voice vote Thursday night at the recommendation of the Senate Ethics Committee.
The committee headed by Sen. Eric Lesser zeroed in on when and why Brady handed the arresting officer his State House identification card, and his apparent dissembling about where exactly he drank before getting behind the wheel.
After interviewing Brady on July 18, reviewing the documents, and deliberating in private, the Ethics Committee determined that the senator had violated the rule prohibiting members from improperly influencing government officials, and requiring members to dutifully avoid situations where there might be an appearance of improper influence.
Brady’s arrest occurred when the Senate was still smarting from the damage caused by Byron Hefner, who was the romantic partner of Stan Rosenberg, Senate president from 2015 until December 2017.
At issue is how Brady alerted the officer to his position as a state senator. According to Brady, he handed the officer his State House card while seated in the car because he was fumbling for documents, and the State House ID in his jacket pocket was easier to grab than his driver’s license in his wallet in his back pocket. But according to Officer Christopher Dangelo, Brady handed him his State House ID after being ordered out of the car and informed that he would need to perform sobriety tests. The officer also recalls Brady telling him that he is a state senator – a fact that Brady claimed not to remember but did not dispute.
A key question is whether Brady offered up his State House ID in an attempt to influence the field sobriety tests. In response to that question, Brady told the committee, “I don’t know.”
The description of the Friday evening that Brady provided to the committee reads as a confusing and partial account that does not match up strictly with what Dangelo recorded Brady saying in his report. When he was pulled over, Brady told the officer he was heading home from a “work event.”
Brady told the committee that he had attended a “community celebration” in Brockton that afternoon, which continued “until the dinner hour.” The senator’s account of the next few hours go in a very different direction.After the celebration, Brady said he had to drive to Boston to pick someone up from Logan Airport, but then his evening took a long detour. He tried to park in the North End, which is across Boston Harbor from the airport, but he couldn’t find a spot and he needed to use a bathroom so he drove to the State House. Then, Brady visited a nearby establishment, but he wouldn’t tell the committee where exactly.
At the mystery bar, Brady wound up doing shots of whiskey with a “bunch of young people,” and then went to a store to get something to eat. He never picked anyone up from the airport. He got in his car – a gray Chevrolet Sonic – and headed home, but someone spotted him driving erratically and called the police who pulled him over in Weymouth.