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L'Italien: Rosenberg Should 'Step Aside' As Senate President During Investigation

Dec 02, 2017 12:04PM ● By Bill Gilman

State Senator Barbara L'Italien

State Sen. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover, has called on Senate President Stan Rosenberg to "step aside" from his leadership role, while investigators probe allegations that Rosenberg's husband, Bryon Hefner, sexually assaulted or harassed at least four men.
At least one of the alleged victims accused Heffner of using his position as Rosenberg's spouse and the influence he wielded with his husband, to coerce the man, a lobbyist, into engaging in sexual activity.
Rosenberg has been largely silent on the allegation, except to say that he welcomes an investigation into the matter.
Heffner has reportedly entered a "treatment program", although it is not clear what condition he is seeking treatment for.
In a statement released Friday, L'Italien, who is running for Congress from the 3rd District in 2018, said the victims were "brave in sharing their stories and I applaud them. Nobody should feel afraid to speak his or her truth."
She also said she has "known and respected" Rosenberg for 15 years but feels that for the sake of the investigation and the protection of any potential witnesses, the Senate president should step aside.
L'Italien presently represents the 2nd Middlesex-Essex District, which includes Dracut and Tewksbury.

Here is L'Italien's statement, in its entirety:

“A Senate Caucus has been scheduled for Monday at which time we will convene to consider the very courageous statements made by victims in the Boston Globe. Coming forward must not have been easy and took a lot of guts. These men did something brave in sharing their stories and I applaud them. Nobody should feel afraid to speak his or her truth. 

It has been suggested that an independent investigation be commenced, with the Senate President remaining in all other duties. I fully agree that an independent investigation is warranted. However, I believe that for the sake of the institution, the Senate President should also step aside from the duties of the Senate Presidency for the duration of any investigation. Any person with information needs to feel safe coming forward. I intend to bring this up in caucus because we can’t be afraid to address this issue as a body. The business of the people of Massachusetts is more important than any one senator.

I have known and respected Stan Rosenberg for 15 years and it pains me that this level of transparency is required but I believe that it is warranted.” 

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