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Local Legislators Respond To Rosenberg's Resignation

May 04, 2018 02:13PM ● By Bill Gilman

State Semator Barbara L'Italien

State Sen. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover, has released a statement on the resignation of state Sen. (and former Senate President) Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst.
Rosenberg, bowing to mounting pressure from critics and colleagues, announced Thursday that he would officially step relinquish his seat in the Senate Friday at 5 p.m.
Rosenberg and his estranged husband, Bryon Hefner, have been at the center of a major Beacon Hill harassment scandal. Hefner is facing criminal charges, alleging he sexually assaulted four men and distributed nude photos of a four. All of the victims were associated, in some way, with state government. Hefner is also accused of harassing numerous other people and using Rosenberg's position as Senate President as a tool to threaten his alleged victims.
When the allegations were first made public in November, Rosenberg stepped down as Senate President and was replaced by Sen. Harriet Chandler.
Earlier this week, the Senate Ethics Committee released a report in which it alleged Hefner "racially and sexually harassed" numerous Senate employees and that Rosenberg knew of his husband's conduct and failed to adequately address the issue and provide Senate employees with a safe work environment.
When the report was released, L'Italien, state Rep. Jim Lyons, R-Andover, Gov. Charlie Baker and many other state leaders called on Rosenberg to resign.
Upon the announcement of Rosenberg's resignation, L'Italien released the following statement:

“I came to the State House today fully prepared to advocate for Senator Rosenberg’s suspension or expulsion as a result of the Ethics Committee’s work and the findings of the senate investigators. 
“I’m glad Senator Rosenberg realized today that his resignation was necessary to preserve the integrity of the Senate and its employees.  He should have taken that step months ago, and acknowledged full responsibility for how his inaction created a workplace environment that was unsafe for the victims and survivors of his husband’s reckless behavior.  As senators, we have a duty to our constituencies to serve honorably and honestly, and that means that we must be held to the highest standard of morality and decency. Since we are entrusted by the public to make laws and policies to protect survivors of sexual harassment and punish offenders, we must be subject to those laws and policies ourselves.  
“Senator Rosenberg’s resignation closes one door, but opens another.  My senate colleagues and I now have the opportunity to be a real force for good; to use this unfortunate series of events to publicly 
 acknowledge that sexual harassment can happen anywhere, to anyone, and when victims come forward, we must believe them and take action to protect them."
In his resignation announcement, Rosenberg denied any wrongdoing but apologized for the impact Hefner's actions have had on the Senate.
“(The committee investigation) found no conduct by me that violated Senate rules or state ethics law, no evidence that Bryon influenced my actions as Senate president, and no knowledge on my part of any alleged sexual advances, assaults, or attempts by Bryon to influence other senators or staff. ... I deeply regret the difficulties that this situation has created for the members, the staff, and the institution of the Senate."
Lyons, who has emerged as one of the strongest conservative voices on Beacon Hill, welcomed Rosenberg's resignation but said there are many more staffers and legislatures who were aware of Hefner's alleged conduct and did nothing to stop it and and should also be held accountable.
"The Democrats in the senate have covered up this corruption and abuse of power . Every member of Rosenberg’s leadership team should resign," Lyons posted on his Facebook page. "The Democrats in state senate unanimously elected Stanley Rosenberg senate president. The Democrats did this with the full knowledge that Stanley Rosenberg and Bryon Hefner began their relationship when Rosenberg was 60 years and Hefner was 19 years old. Hefner worked in Stanley Rosenberg office. What does that tell us about the decision making ability of the Democrats in the state senate..totally incompetent! These are the people who are passing radical legislation that is impacting all of us."

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