BOSTON (CBS) – A much anticipated report on whether Senator Stanley Rosenberg violated any Senate ethics rules has been released by a joint Senate Ethics Committee. It already has Governor Charlie Baker calling for Rosenberg’s immediate resignation.
“The Senate’s ethics report reveals a deeply disturbing pattern of behavior, making it clear that Senator Rosenberg has compromised the business of the Chamber and trust of his constituents,” Gov. Baker said. “For the good of the institution and those who elected him to serve, I believe the Senator needs to resign immediately. My thoughts remain with the victims and I commend them for their bravery.”
The committee concluded the Senator did not violate any specific rules, but showed a lack of judgement. The report says his promise of a firewall between his estranged husband Bryon Hefner and Senate business was “ineffective”.
This comes as four men with state house connections say Hefner sexually harassed and assaulted them while boasting of his influence over Senate matters. Hefner has already pleaded not guilty to ten felony charges.
The committee says Rosenberg gave Hefner “unfettered access” by sharing his confidential computer password and access to his Senate email account. “That failure undermined the integrity of the Senate and had destructive consequences for the Senate and the people with business before it. Essentially, Senator Rosenberg failed to protect the Senate from his husband, whom he knew was disruptive, volatile and abusive,” the committee wrote in their report.
The investigation included an 11 hour interview with Rosenberg and his counsel, as well as 45 witness interviews of Senate personnel and others with business before the Senate. Tens of thousands of pages of emails, text and other materials were also reviewed.
Anthony Fuller of Hogan Lovells, private counsel hired to help the committee in its investigation, said five people did come forward who experienced unwanted touching from Hefner, but won’t say if any of the alleged victims for which he’s been charged were among them.
Senate minority leader Bruce Tarr says the Senate has been harmed because “folks felt threatened by the Senate president’s husband, and felt concerned about the ability to effectively function in this building.”
The committee is recommending that Senator Rosenberg not serve as Senate President, as a member of Senate leadership or as chair of any committee for the remainder of this legislative session and the next. Rather than call for his resignation they say they’ll leave it up to his constituents at the ballot box.