State senate president pledges expansion of records law

02 December, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • IN HOT WATER Bryon Hefner left the husband of Mass. Senate President Stanley Rosenberg right has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior

Senate leaders say they will hire an independent special investigator to look into allegations of sexual misconduct by Bryon Hefner, the husband of Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg. One man was allegedly kissed by Hefner against his will. A spokesman for Rosenberg said he did not know who was representing Hefner and Reuters could not immediately reach Hefner for comment.

In a statement late Thursday, Republicans Baker and Lt. Gov. Karen Polito said they are "stunned by these allegations and find them appalling". Chandler called the charges "very serious and very disturbing", and said in a statement that an unbiased investigation was necessary "to ensure a completely impartial process, and because of these unique circumstances which involve the office of the Senate President".

About WATD Web Editor WATD online and on air contributors include, but are not limited to: The Associated Press, Precision Weather Forecasting, local news stringers and reporters, in-house news and internet media staff, State House and town hall reporters, freelance reporters, special feature reporters and producers, and on air radio hosts and personnel. He is the first openly gay leader of the Senate.

In a December 2014 letter to 33 Democratic senators, Rosenberg vowed to create a "firewall" between his personal and professional life.

Rosenberg said it was the first he had heard of the allegations.

Rosenberg told Thursday's annual meeting of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association he hopes a bill expanding the law to all three branches of government will be introduced early in 2018.

IN HOT WATER Bryon Hefner left the husband of Mass. Senate President Stanley Rosenberg right has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior
Sen. Don Humason joins call for independent investigation in Bryon Hefner case

Rosenberg, a Democrat, said in a statement sent by email to reporters late Thursday that he supported the investigation and would recuse himself from anything related to it, after the newspaper quoted four unnamed men who said Rosenberg's husband, Bryon Hefner, had groped them or had other unwanted sexual contact. "To the best of my recollection I was not approached by anyone with complaints during or after the alleged incidents made in this article or I would have tried to intervene". The paper said it granted the four men anonymity because they must still work with Rosenberg, and interact with Hefner. Chandler said Rosenberg will retain the title and powers of Senate president while the probe unfolds.

Rosenberg has strongly defended what he calls the Senate's "zero tolerance policy" for sexual harassment in recent weeks.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, echoed those sentiments and said he found the claims "serious and disturbing", adding that they need to be "examined and addressed".

Rosenberg, a 68-year-old legislator from Amherst, married 30-year-old Hefner in 2016.

Rosenberg was raised by foster parents and has said the fact that Hefner also was in the state's foster care system as a child contributed to the bond between the two men.

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