HEROUX WILL RESIGN FROM HOUSE, AIDE SAYS
By Matt Murphy
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, NOV. 17, 2017......State representative and Attleboro Mayor-elect Paul Heroux reversed course on Friday and informed Speaker Robert DeLeo that he intends to resign his seat in the House after coming under heavy criticism for expressing a desire to hold both jobs through 2018, according to an aide.
Heroux, who has served in the House since 2013, sent an email to DeLeo informing the Democratic leader of his intentions. Though an official letter of resignation had not yet been submitted to the House clerk as of Friday afternoon, the aide said that process was underway.
The Attleboro Sun Chronicle was the first to report that Heroux planned to resign his House seat on Friday and had notified Speaker DeLeo.
Gov. Charlie Baker and others have criticized his plans to hold both jobs through 2018 and House Republicans were threatening to file legislation that would have forced him to quit, which Heroux scoffed at on Thursday as politically motivated and an action that would "probably just lead me to dig in my heels."
Heroux told the News Service Thursday that he had received no pressure from House leadership to resign before taking over as mayor, in contrast to the hostility former Rep. William Lantigua of Lawrence faced in 2009 when he tried to keep his job as a legislator after winning that city's mayoral election.
The House this week completed formal sessions for the year, but formal sessions are scheduled from January through July in 2018 and his resignation would give voters in Attleboro a chance to choose his successor by as early as March.
Sen. Thomas McGee was elected mayor of Lynn Nov. 7 and the Senate has scheduled a March 6 special election because the senator plans to resign.
Heroux had said that he had wanted to try to get some of his priority legislation through the House before he resigned, and was also worried about the cost of a special election to Attleboro and the possibility that a Republican would be favored to win his seat in a low-turnout special election.
The former state prison official did not vote on the final criminal justice bill that passed the House this week because he said he was disappointed that one of his priorities – a proposal requiring the Department of Corrections to measure the effectiveness of its rehabilitation programming - did not make it into the legislation.
He was also not recorded Wednesday when the House passed a $3.5 billion capital infrastructure bill with $20 million for an Attleboro courthouse.
Heroux called the bond bill vote "a fluke."
"I was there. I remember physically pressing the button," he said. Heroux intended to vote yes. He said it has happened before that his portfolio bumps up against the voting buttons on his desk and changes his vote. "That's the only explanation I have for it," he said.
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