Reporter's Notebook: Henriquez will reach out to community next month

State Rep. Carlos Henriquez, fighting assault and criminal charges leveled by a 23-year-old student, plans to hold a community meeting at the Dorchester House on Aug. 7 as part of a district-wide tour. The meeting at 1353 Dorchester Ave. is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., according to a notice from Henriquez’s office.

The notice states: “Come join Representative Carlos Henriquez for a community meeting. Share your concerns as residents as well as hear about what the Representative has been working on at the State House.”

Additional meetings are scheduled for Aug. 14, at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, 504 Dudley St., and for Aug. 21 at the Grove Hall Community Center, 51 Geneva Ave. Both meetings start at 6 p.m.

The Democrat, who represents parts of Dorchester and Roxbury, has maintained his innocence while facing questions about what happened in a rented ZipCar in an early Sunday morning incident that led to his arrest. Citing his lawyer’s advice, Henriquez has stated he cannot currently provide details about the incident.

The Dorchester House community meeting will come days after the Legislature is expected to wrap up formal sessions for the year, allowing lawmakers to turn their focus to the election season.

The Dorchester lawmaker has largely kept a lower profile since the incident. He appeared on TOUCH 106.1 FM on Tuesday morning to banter with Charles Clemons about Beacon Hill legislation, his haircut, and the boundaries of the Fifth Suffolk District, which he represents.

The station was friendly turf for Henriquez, who appears on Clemons’s show regularly to talk politics and update listeners on his priorities.

Asked if he was traveling to North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention, which overlaps with the September primary, Henriquez said he’s staying in Boston, and added that he’s a “local guy.”

Capuano aide back at work after illness

An aide to Congressman Michael Capuano is back on the job after spending several months away for medical reasons. Candace Sealey, who handles Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury for Capuano, says she’s easing back into the job.

In a statement to the Reporter, Sealey thanked friends and family for their support and stressed that the transition back is “gradual,” adding her “thanks to all of the wonderful people who reached out to me these past months as I dealt with a very serious health ailment. I’ve missed the casework and the work in the community, both of which I am committed to. Today I am blessed to be able to say I am gradually working my way back to a more normal work load in Rep. Capuano’s office.”

Sealey also thanked individual community members and organizations that sent flowers and encouragement. “It truly means a lot and it is uplifting to know how much others care. The relationships built, bridges made and crossed are very near and dear to me,” she wrote. “I want to remind each of you of the importance of health care, follow up and follow through for you and family. I had no previous health issues, signs or signal of what was to come. I had no pre determined symptoms.”

Separately, Capuano staffers are holding office hours this week in Codman Square and Mattapan Square.

Staffers will be available today (July 26) at the Codman Square Community Health Center from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tomorrow (July 27), staffers will be at Brothers Restaurant at 1638 Blue Hill Ave.

Former state rep candidate: OCPF fine has been waived

Darrin Howell, a former candidate for state representative, said this week that the $1,200 fine he owed the Office of Campaign and Political Finance has been waived.

According to a document shown to the Reporter, Howell’s fine was cancelled because the Democrat is not on the ballot, has a good filing history, and has not had an active campaign finance account.

OCPF, which oversees campaign finance reports, had sent the fine to a private collection agency earlier this year after Howell had filed a late report and a financial penalty began to accrue. Howell ran for the Sixth Suffolk House seat, currently occupied by state Rep. Russell Holmes, in 2010. Because Howell and his treasurer recently moved, they were not aware of OCPF letters informing them of the fine, he said.

Menino taps Swett to replace Hunt as environment chief

A project manager at Boston Properties will take over for James Hunt III, who is leaving his job as Mayor Thomas Menino’s chief of environment and energy. Brian Swett, who oversees energy initiatives at Boston Properties, an owner and developer of commercial real estate, will start on Aug. 6.

A South End resident with degrees from Brown University and the University of Michigan, Swett has worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency, a pair of investment firms, and in US Sen. Barbara Boxer’s office. His new job includes overseeing the Inspectional Services Department and the Parks Planning Department.

“We have so much exciting progress going on in Boston,” Menino said in a statement. “When we attract someone with Brian’s talent and potential into city government, it adds to that energy and to that buzz.”
Hunt, a Dorchester native, said he was stepping down at the end of July to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop. Email us at newseditor@dotnews.com and follow us on Twitter: @LitDrop and @gintautasd.