The Senate Ethics Committee has found that while Sen. Stanley Rosenberg may not have violated any formal rules, he is guilty of a “significant failure of judgment and leadership” in connection with the alleged behavior of his husband, Bryon Hefner.
Democratic and Republican senators met for five hours on Wednesday to review a report produced by independent investigators at the law firm Hogan Lovells.
The Ethics Committee, in a statement, said it had adopted the findings and conclusions in the report, which included a finding that Rosenberg, during his time as Senate president, undermined the Senate’s anti-harassment policy because he either knew or should have known that Hefner had racially and sexually harassed Senate employees.
The report also faulted Rosenberg for giving Hefner “unfettered” access to his email and Senate information to which Hefner should not have been privy.
The Ethics Committee has recommended that Rosenberg be barred for the remainder of this session and the following two-year session from serving as Senate president, in Senate leadership or as chair of any committee.
Hefner has been indicted for sexually assaulting four men who do business on Beacon Hill. He has also been accused of improperly meddling in Senate business, breaking the promise made by Rosenberg before he was elected president that there would be a “firewall” between his work and his husband.
Rosenberg, who stepped down in December as Senate president, and had expressed confidence that the investigation would show no wrong-doing on his part, was not in the State House on Wednesday and did not take part in the caucus.
Upon leaving the Senate president’s office after five hours of private discussions, Sen. Eric Lesser said senators had received the full Hogan Lovells report, were reviewing it and would resume discussions on Thursday morning.
Sen. Dean Tran, a Republican, told reporters the same thing, suggesting “very little decisions” were made on Wednesday about what to do next. The report now goes before the full Senate for acceptance.
This story is still developing. Stay with 22News for more updates.