In the world of politics, even the smallest misstep can leave a lasting impact. Some politicians in Massachusetts have faced this reality, finding themselves tangled in legal trouble that cast a long shadow on their careers. Today, we’ll explore these Massachusetts politicians with convictions, particularly the role of felonies and misdemeanors, and how these convictions influenced their professional lives.
Felonies: The Higher Stakes Game
Felony convictions represent the most severe legal troubles for Massachusetts politicians with convictions. Several well-known cases include:
Charles Flaherty, a former Massachusetts House Speaker, pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion in 1996. Interestingly, this incident didn’t halt his political career, with voters choosing him for another term.
Thomas Finneran, another past House Speaker, faced a conviction for felony obstruction of justice in 2007. He decided not to run for re-election after this incident.
In 2010, Dianne Wilkerson, a former state senator, experienced a conviction for attempted extortion, a felony. Her political career came to an end after this.
Misdemeanors: Lesser, but Still Significant
While misdemeanors carry less severe penalties than felonies, they’ve still deeply affected the careers of Massachusetts politicians with convictions:
Carlos Henriquez, once a state representative, received a conviction for misdemeanor assault and battery in 2014. The Massachusetts House of Representatives expelled him after this conviction.
Salvatore DiMasi, a former Massachusetts House Speaker, was convicted on multiple charges, including conspiracy, all misdemeanors. His political career finished with a prison sentence.
Joseph C. Sullivan, the former mayor of Braintree, got convicted of a misdemeanor OUI (Operating Under the Influence) in 2011. After his term, he decided not to seek re-election.
Jasiel Correia, the former mayor of Fall River, faced multiple fraud charges in 2021. Although these were misdemeanors, his political career ended abruptly.
How Convictions Shape Careers
The impact of a conviction on a politician’s career varies. While some, like Flaherty, survive felony convictions, others, like Henriquez, find their careers abruptly ending due to a misdemeanor. The judgment of the public and the current political climate often play significant roles in these
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained within this article may not be up-to-date, complete, or accurate. Do not rely on this information for any actions or decisions. Always consult with a professional legal advisor before making any legal decisions.
As the holiday season approaches please realize that your children did not ask to have families that live separate and apart. It is important to follow the court order, if you and your ex cannot agree otherwise. Ignoring the terms of a court order can be detrimental for the entire family.
When one parent decides to unilaterally change the terms of a court order, the child is often put in the middle of the situation, which usually escalates to a battle. Often the children are aware they are supposed to be going with the other parent and are disappointed, and sometimes think, they are being stood-up (creating hostility).
The parent who does not receive his/her parenting time often has plans that either needs to be changed or cancelled altogether. If they decide to continue with the plans (without their children) than very often every family member comments about the non-complying ex and their evil behaviors. These comments are often heard by the children at future family functions. The children become sad or angry with their family and/or either parent.
Whether the court order was decided either by an agreement of the parties or by a judge, someone decided that the schedule was in the best interest of your children. To simply disrupt the schedule because you decided is not in the best interest of the children.
While we all understand that the holidays are meaningful and important and you want your children with you, it cannot always be that way growing up in separate homes. That is just something you have to accept as a parent and try to consider the other parent and most importantly your children.
Assuming a parent breaches the court order then the party who lost the parenting time may seek a complaint for contempt. In that contempt action the non-complying party may be responsible to 1) provide additional parenting time, 2) loose parenting time at the next scheduled holiday, 3) be responsible for other parent attorney’s fees and costs, 4) loose custody of the children, and/or 5) be sentenced to the house of corrections.
I cannot stress enough the need to be completely truthful with your attorney in all cases (except maybe criminal). They should not judge you but they need to know all the facts, good and bad, prior to going to court.
All too often clients want to be selective on which is facts are disclosed. At the end of the day it only makes your attorneys job even harder. If there are skeletons in your closet and your attorney knew what they were then they can come up with a game plans as to how to minimize the effects of those skeletons, or even eliminate them all together.
If on the other hand, you do not disclose those skeletons then often your ex knows, tells their attorney and now it is being used against you. Since you did not disclose it to your attorney the attorney if often scrambling as the judge inquires, tries to deflect the questions, or, worse yet, just looks at you unable to answer.
The most often types of skeletons that come up in family law pertain to the following:
DCF involvement (past or present)
Use of drugs (including marijuana)
Abuse of alcohol
Domestic violence on any partner (past or present)
Restraining orders sought or obtained (past and present)
Written agreement between the parties (whether a court order or not)
Emails or text messages between the parties
Custody and parenting schedule for other children not subject to this case
This is only a partial list. In any civil cases or housing court cases the list above may be applicable, in addition to housing code violations, section 8, leases (written or otherwise), agreed upon reimbursements.
Provide your attorney will all the knowledge they need to best advise you and to defend your actions. Realistically this should be done in the initial consultation, or once the issues arise after the attorney has been retained.