Representative John Fresolo resigns amidst ethics investigation
By Nick Katers
BOSTON, Massachusetts: Representatives John Fresolo (D) resigned on May 22 after allegations of ethics violations. His resignation follows two months of allegations and a week of hearings before the House Ethics Committee dealing with improper travel reimbursements. The committee chaired by Representative Martin Walsh (D) held four days of hearings behind closed doors. The eight-term legislator represented Sixteenth Worcester District in the Massachusetts State House.
Fresolo faced allegations of misusing travel reimbursements going back to a 2003 report by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. This report indicated that Fresolo claimed $8,856 in travel reimbursements based on 246 trips to the Capitol. The Massachusetts State Legislature met on 138 occasions in 2003. Fresolo remained among the top legislators in terms of travel reimbursements in subsequent years including $7,848 for 218 reported trips in 2011. The House Ethics Committee began investigating these claims in March 2013 after formal accusations by a former legislative aide.
Records of the committee’s investigations have not been made public due to the resignation. Representative Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R) wants these records released to a full meeting of the House before Fresolo receives any benefits. "The residents of the Sixteenth Worcester District and the taxpayers of Massachusetts deserve representatives and a governing body that is held to the highest ethical standard," says Jones. The former legislator is scheduled to receive $13,472 per year and health coverage for the remainder of his life.
A special election has been scheduled for September 10 with a primary election on August 13. Prospective candidates must submit at least 150 signatures by July 2 to be included on the ballot..
- MassLive.com, "Worcester State Rep. John Fresolo resigns," May 22, 2013
- MassLive.com, "John Fresolo in line to receive pension and benefits after resignation and ethics probe," May 24, 2013
- 'Worcester Telegram & Gazette, "Binienda, Fresolo make top 10 list for travel payments," accessed February 27, 2013
- MassLive.com, "House panel investigating lawmaker; Worcester Rep. John Fresolo denies resignation report," March 22, 2013
- WBUR, "Amid Ethics Committee Meetings, Worcester Rep. Fresolo Resigns," May 22, 2013
- City of Worcester, MA, "Election Calendar," accessed May 28, 2013