Harriette Chandler Of Worcester Elected Acting Mass. Senate President

Sergio Conner
December 7, 2017

The Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ethics began an investigation Tuesday into State Senate President Stan Rosenberg, who announced Monday that he would suspend his responsibilities as president while the probe was underway, Fox News reported.

Chandler will continue in the post through the course of an investigation into Rosenberg and his staff. Chandler said she is not interested in serving in the post after the investigation.

He had previously said he meant to remain as Senate president but recuse himself from any matters related to the investigation. The investigator will also look into the possibility that Hefner had some influence over Senate matters.

Chandler said the Senate admires the courage of those who came forward to tell their stories. He has not been accused of wrongdoing.

The Boston Globe reported last week that four men had accused Rosenberg's husband, Bryon Hefner, of sexually assaulting or harassing them with three of them alleging he grabbed their genitals. Fearing a backlash from Rosenberg, the men didn't report the misconduct at the time.

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"I believe taking a leave of absence from the Senate Presidency during the investigation is in the best interest of the Senate", Rosenberg said in a statement. "The independent investigation by the thorough, proper, and prompt, and I am hopeful that, together, with the criminal investigation Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley are prepared to open, we will be able to address these allegations and get to the truth of the matter".

WCVB reached out to Rosenberg's office Sunday, but have not heard back.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker called Rosenberg's decision "the right one". Several people said Hefner spoke of Rosenberg's work in the Senate as what "we" - Rosenberg and Hefner - were trying to accomplish.

And it's our understanding, based on talking with senators and sources in the building, that she is not alone, and that others may be on her side, believing that he should either step aside while this investigation takes place, or it might be the best thing for the Senate for him to just resign the presidency itself, and let a new leader to be elected.

The scenario that unfolded on Monday was without modern precedent in the Massachusetts Senate.

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