Just the Facts
- Throughout his 40-year career as an educator, executive and elected official, Félix has established a distinguished and well-documented record as a champion of social, economic and racial justice.
- In September of 2014, Félix got over 50% of the vote in the six-person Democratic Primary for Suffolk County Register of Probate and Family Court.
- In November of 2014, Félix was elected Register with 136,821 votes and became the first Latino elected to a countywide position in Massachusetts.
- In January of 2015, Félix was sworn in as the Suffolk County Register of Probate and Family Court and became the first person of color to ever serve in that role.
- Félix inherited an office with a well-documented history of mismanagement and poor performance.
- From April of 2011 through January 2015 when Félix started, the Suffolk County Registry of Probate and Family Court was under the direct management of the Trial Court for 33 out of 44 months, most of that time under Harry Spence.
- The registry was under the management of Harry Spence and the Trial Court’s appointed Register for the year prior to Félix’s being sworn in.
- Félix inherited about 35 employees, all of whom were hired by the past administrations.
Due to budget constraints and vacancies that he was not allowed to fill, staffing levels fell to as low as 67% of what they had been just 10 years earlier.
Massachusetts statutes allow for the Register of Probate to hire four executive-level employees. Félix was only ever allowed to hire one of them.
- During Félix’s tenure, in 2015 and 2016, the Suffolk County Registry of Probate and Family Court handled 30,717 cases.
- Notwithstanding the above-mentioned hiring constraints imposed on him, Félix nearly doubled the diversity in the office from 26% to 45%.
- Félix hired staff with second and third language abilities that corresponded with the languages most commonly spoken by the registry users, which are English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Cape Verdean Creole.
- On February 3, 2017, Harry Spence made the unilateral decision to suspend Félix without any due process and without any evidence for the claims that he made in the letter informing Félix that he had been suspended.
- Harry Spence has repeatedly denied Félix’s request for an investigation that is open to the public, instead dictating that the investigation be conducted outside the public view.
- The Trial Court hand selected the investigator without any input from Félix.
- Harry Spence helped write the questions that the investigator is asking.
- Félix does not know whom the investigator is interviewing nor how that decision is being made, but Felix has not been asked to suggest names or potential questions for the investigator to consider.