3 in Massachusetts Senate Eye Top Post Should Rosenberg Not Return

Lester Mason
December 7, 2017

The jockeying began after Amherst Democrat Stan Rosenberg stepped aside as Senate President, at least temporarily, after several men told The Boston Globe they had been sexually abused by Rosenberg's husband, Bryon Hefner.

After a day of extraordinary drama and closed door meetings that lasted hours, Senators met in a special session Monday night to elect Democrat Harriette Chandler of Worcester as acting president.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren weighed in Monday, telling reporters "the charges against the Senate president's husband are disgusting and the people who have leveled these charges have a right to be heard and to be respected and protected". He has not been accused of wrongdoing.

The Boston Globe's Yvonne Abraham published a column on Thursday with the men's accusations against Hefner.

"I am confident that Senator Chandler will perform the duties of Acting Senate President with integrity and professionalism during this unexpectedly tumultuous time", Cyr added.

The announcement came late Monday after a almost eight-hour Democratic caucus held behind closed doors at the Statehouse.

While he will no longer receive his $80,000-a-year Senate presidential stipend, Rosenberg would still get the annual pay of about $62,500 as well as a $20,000 office stipend, according to a Treasury spokeswoman, the Boston Globe reported. Rosenberg said Friday that Hefner would soon enter treatment for alcohol dependency.

The Senate is expected to appoint an independent investigator whose focus likely would be on whether Rosenberg knew about Hefner's behavior or if Hefner had any clout when it came to matters before the Senate.

Three Democratic lawmakers say they will seek the position of Massachusetts Senate president should it become vacant in the future.

That announcement came late Monday after a almost eight-hour Democratic caucus held behind closed doors at the Statehouse.

"There can be no tolerance in the Senate for sexual harassment, and we must ensure that no one who serves, works, or does business in the Massachusetts State House feels unsafe, coerced, or silenced", Cyr said in a statement.

Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley, both Democrats, are asking anyone with information about the allegations to contact either of their offices.

The two said they are committed to providing every survivor of sexual assault "a safe, respectful, victim-centered environment".

A spokesman says Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg has agreed to step aside as leader of the chamber during an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations surrounding his husband, Bryon Hefner. He maintained that his husband had no influence over his policy decisions or actions by the Senate.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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