Stan Rosenberg

 

Senator

“The best way to win someone's trust is to tell the truth; clearly, forcefully, directly”. Stan Rosenberg.

 

 


Lawsuit Says Former Senate President Stan Rosenberg Knew Husband Was A Risk

A civil lawsuit is alleging former Senate President Stan Rosenberg knew his estranged husband Bryon Hefner posed a risk to individuals at the Massachusetts Statehouse and Rosenberg and Hefner had an agreement or understanding allowing Hefner access to those individuals.

The lawsuit, which names both men, was filed in Suffolk Superior Court on Friday on behalf of an unnamed plaintiff who said Hefner grabbed his genitals without consent on more than one occasion.

The suit alleges the plaintiff suffered ongoing emotional distress and physical harm, including "depression, anxiety, muscle tension, gastrointestinal distress and impaired sleep."

Attempts to reach Rosenberg, a Democrat who resigned from the Legislature in May, were unsuccessful on Tuesday. Hefner's lawyer didn't immediately return a request for comment.

In one case, the plaintiff said that during a ride in Rosenberg's car in April 2016, Hefner grabbed his genitals over his clothes as Rosenberg rode in the front passenger seat and the two rode in the back seat.

At some point the plaintiff said he told Hefner to "screw off" at which point Rosenberg said "knock it off back there," or words to that effect.

The plaintiff also said that during a dinner that same month in a Boston restaurant with Rosenberg and members of the Massachusetts Senate, Hefner again grabbed his genitals under the table over his clothes. The plaintiff said he pushed Hefner's hands away.

Hefner also boasted of his influence with Rosenberg, the lawsuit alleged.

Rosenberg provided excuses for Hefner's conduct, according to the lawsuit, pointing to his "mental health issues or problems with alcohol."

Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney representing the unnamed plaintiff, said he was hoping for a "just and fair verdict." Garabedian is best known for representing hundreds of clergy sexual abuse victims.

The lawsuit specifically accuses Hefner of battery and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit also accuses Rosenberg of the intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy, saying he knew of the risk posed to others by Hefner.

"Defendant Rosenberg and Defendant Hefner made an agreement or had a common design or understanding to give Defendant Hefner access to individuals who worked, communicated with or lobbied at the Massachusetts Legislature or at the Massachusetts State House including the Plaintiff, with whom Defendant Hefner could engage in unwanted sexual touching," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit doesn't specify potential damages. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday to maintain the anonymity of the plaintiff.

The complaint mirrors some of the allegations made by prosecutors in the indictment that charged Hefner with 10 counts of sexual assault, distributing nude photos without consent and criminal lewdness.

The lawsuit also indicates that one of Hefner's alleged victims, though not the person who is the plaintiff in the case, was a member of the state Legislature.

According to the lawsuit, Hefner and Rosenberg attended a December 2013 conference with other members of the Legislature. One of the elected officials said after drinking alcohol he woke up naked in his hotel room bed with no memory of how he got there, and later learned that Hefner had naked photos of him that he showed to several other people, the lawsuit states.

Hefner pleaded not guilty at his April arraignment, His attorney, Tracy Miner, said in a statement at the time that he would defend himself in court.

In December, shortly after The Boston Globe first reported on allegations of sexual misconduct against Hefner, Rosenberg read a statement in which he described himself as "shocked and devastated" to learn of the allegations, and asserted Hefner had no influence over his decisions in the Senate.

 

Former Senate President Stan Rosenberg knew his husband Bryon Hefner took 'naked photos' of an elected official without his consent, lawsuit claims

Bryon Hefner allegedly took "naked photos" of an elected official without his consent and distributed them to multiple people on Beacon Hill, according to a civil suit filed Friday.

Former Senate President Stan Rosenberg knew his husband had the photo, according to the suit, and watched him show it to another colleague at a house party in December

2014.

A former legislative aide is suing Rosenberg and Hefner saying that the former Senate President knew the risk his husband posed and still allowed him access to his political contacts.

The aide, named only as John Doe, says Hefner sexually assaulted him at least three times between 2015 and 2016 including one time when Rosenberg was within the same car.

 

 

Love, Power, and the Downfall of Stan Rosenberg

Love saved former state Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s life. Then it ruined him. How did things go so wrong?

On a Friday in late April, I drove out to see then–state Senator Stanley Rosenberg in his western Massachusetts district. For months, Rosenberg had been embroiled in scandal. It started when his erratic, much-younger husband was accused of sexual misconduct. Winter turned to spring. The story mutated, metastasized. Suddenly, Rosenberg was getting swallowed up, too. Officials launched investigations. Columnists called for his head. And Rosenberg didn’t want to rock the boat. So, for a long time, he refused to talk. When he ultimately agreed to meet, his chief of staff warned me that he wouldn’t address his husband, Bryon Hefner, or the investigations, or much of anything at all. That wasn’t surprising. Rosenberg enjoys discussing only the driest of policy specifics; if you press him to open up, he lets his eyes glaze over and tortures you with shopworn talking points. But on that Friday, something in him boiled over, and he decided to go off-script.

 

Bowing to pressure, Rosenberg resigns after 31 years

Stanley C. Rosenberg, who overcame a traumatic youth to become one of the state’s most powerful legislators and used his position to help protect gay marriage, legalize casino gambling, and enact sweeping change to criminal justice laws, announced Thursday that he is resigning in the wake of a damning ethics report about his conduct and judgment.

The Senate accepted the former Senate president’s resignation and endorsed the findings of an investigation that found Rosenberg abrogated his leadership responsibilities by giving his accused serial predator husband, Bryon Hefner, essentially unfettered access to the Senate.

 

What You Should Know About The Decline Of This Powerful Massachusetts Politician

The fate of former Massachusetts State Senate President, Stan Rosenberg, could rest on the results of an investigation into whether he broke Senate rules, findings which could be made public soon.

At issue is Rosenberg's 30-year-old husband, Bryon Hefner, who recently pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault, criminal lewdness and distributing nude photographs without consent.

Late last year, four men with business before the state, claimed that Hefner sexually assaulted and harassed them, and insinuated that he could help them by using his power over Senate business.

The allegations against Hefner have left Rosenberg's career in shambles. Soon after the claims first surfaced last November, Rosenberg, 68, agreed to step down from his leadership post, pending the results of the investigation by the state's Senate Ethics Committee.

Rosenberg said he "was shocked and devastated" to read allegations that his husband sexually assaulted and harassed the men. He went on to say, Hefner had "no influence over policy, the internal operations of the Senate, or any Senate-related business," and that Hefner was seeking treatment for alcohol dependence. The couple, who have been together since 2008, married in 2016.

Even without the results of the investigation, Rosenberg was permanently stripped of his title earlier this year when it appeared the situation would not be resolved quickly, and after The Boston Globe reported that Hefner had full access to Rosenberg's emails and had meddled in Senate affairs.

The Committee hired a Boston law firm to look into the matter, to determine if any Senate rules were broken. The committee can only take action against a senate member of a staffer and has no jurisdiction over a senator's spouse. Last week, the state paid the law firm, Hogan Lovells $229,511 for its services.

Since stepping down from his leadership post, Rosenberg has been stripped of most of his staff and relegated to a temporary office located in the basement of the 220-year-old State House, a major downgrade from the handsomely appointed Senate President's suite on the building's third floor. Additionally, his pay was reduced from $142,547 to 62,548 a year.

Meanwhile, legal troubles for Hefner have been mounting and he's scheduled to go on trial in March next year.

Despite Rosenberg's popularity within the 40 member Massachusetts State Senate, his chances of ever regaining his former position are nil, although, he is planning to run again for office and maintains strong support.

 

Stan Rosenberg to quit Senate after scathing ethics report

Former Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg announced Thursday he would end his long political career after a scathing ethics report concluded he failed to protect the Senate from his husband, who has been charged with sexual misconduct.

The decision to resign came amid mounting calls, including several from his Democratic colleagues, for the Amherst Democrat to resign. He stepped down from the presidency in December when allegations first surfaced against his husband, Bryon Hefner. The couple has since separated.

In a statement, Rosenberg said he was leaving the Senate because he no longer had the authority to fully represent the interests of his constituents.

He noted the report, released Wednesday, found no evidence that he violated any Senate rules, no evidence he was aware of any alleged sexual assaults by Hefner, nor that Hefner asserted any influence over his actions while Senate leader.

But Rosenberg acknowledged findings in the report, prepared by investigators hired by the Senate Ethics Committee, faulting him for not doing more to control Hefner’s access to information and access to people who worked for or had business with the Senate.

‘‘Although, as the report states, I was unaware of many of the events attributed to Bryon, and took steps to address those incidents that came to my attention, that does not diminish my sorrow at what reportedly transpired or my sense of responsibility for what the ethics committee concludes was a failure on my part in not doing more to protect the Senate,’’ Rosenberg wrote.

He also conveyed his ‘‘sincere apology’’ to anyone who’d been affected by events detailed in the report.

Investigators concluded that Rosenberg showed ‘‘significant failure of judgment and leadership,’’ knew or should have known that Hefner was ‘‘disruptive, volatile and abusive,’’ and had racially or sexually harassed Senate employees.

Rosenberg also violated Senate policy by allowing Hefner access to his Senate email and to his cell phone, which Hefner on at least two occasions used to send messages to Senate staffers while pretending to be Rosenberg, the report found.

 

Attorney General Maura Healey and Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday called on disgraced former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg to step down, after the Senate Ethics Committee chided the Amherst Democrat for a “significant failure of judgment and leadership” but left his future as a senator up to his constituents.

 

Ex-Senate President Stanley Rosenberg to step down amid scandal

Disgraced former state Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg will resign his Senate seat tomorrow afternoon on the heels of a damning Senate Ethics Committee that slammed his “significant failure of judgment and leadership” involving his indicted husband's allegedly abusive behavior.

The Amherst Democrat, who was urged to resign by both Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey, will step down at 5 p.m. tomorrow, according to chief of staff Natasha Perez.

 

Rosenberg resignation leaves Northampton, Hatfield without representation

The jagged hole in western Massachusetts representation at the Statehouse left by the passing of Rep. Peter Kocot, D-Northampton, has grown larger with the announcement that Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, will resign Friday. 

Now, Northampton and Hatfield have no representation in the Legislature. And on Tuesday, the deadline to submit signatures to secure a place on the primary ballot passed, leaving Northampton Democrat Chelsea Kline as the only candidate for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester Senate district. 

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz issued a statement Thursday evening urging an extension of the filing deadline 

“Unfortunately, this turn of events leaves the City of Northampton with no representation in the state Legislature until January 2019,” Narkewicz wrote.

“In addition, because the Ethics Committee report was issued the day after the statewide filing deadline there is no opportunity for a contested election for our now-vacant state Senate seat.”

Narkewicz is calling on the governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and Senate president to work together to extend the filing deadline for the district for two more weeks “so that we can have a full and robust debate about the needs and future of its 24 cities and towns.”

Kocot, 61, died Feb. 22. House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who has the authority to schedule special House elections, opted against having one for Kocot’s First Hampshire District, which encompasses Northampton, Hatfield, Southampton, Westhampton and Montgomery. Hatfield is also in the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester Senate district.

Rosenberg had gathered the requisite numbers of signatures to run for re-election, town clerks in Amherst and Northampton confirmed Thursday. 

The elections division of the secretary of the commonwealth said the deadline for collecting signatures and filing them with a local town clerk in the candidate’s district passed on May 1. Candidates now have until May 29 to submit the signatures for certification by the secretary of the commonwealth. 

Rosenberg has already filed his nomination papers with the required signatures to the town clerk in his district, according to the elections division, but has not submitted his papers to the secretary.

Unless he files his papers with the secretary, his name will not be on the ballot in September. Assuming Kline does, hers will be the only name on the ballot. 

Amherst and Northampton town clerks confirmed Thursday that both Rosenberg and Kline’s nomination papers had been certified with the required number of signatures. 

The elections division said a third candidate, David Morin of Amherst, had pulled papers to run for the seat, but town clerks in Amherst and Northampton said they did not show that he had certified his signatures for nomination, and the town clerk in Springfield, who has access to view statewide nominations, also said there was no record that Morin’s signatures have been submitted.

An aide in the Senate president’s office confirmed Thursday that Rosenberg had officially submitted his letter of resignation, which cannot be rescinded once it has been filed. 

Any decision on extending the filing deadline or holding a special election would be made by the Senate president’s office.

However, Kevin Connor, spokesman for Senate President Harriette Chandler, said that at this point the deadline will not be extended, nor will a special election be held for Rosenberg’s seat in the Senate. 

“When you make one exception for a political reason, you open up the possibilities of having deadline extensions or special elections whenever the political pressures of that time call for it,” Connor said.  

Narkewicz expressed disappointment at this turn of events, and he said that he would continue to reach out to legislators on this issue, particularly those in western Massachusetts.

“They understand how important this seat is,” he said.

Senate rule 5C states that a special election may be called up until April 1. As that deadline has passed, Connor said anyone else interested in running for Rosenberg’s seat  will need to run a write-in campaign. 

In a wri   te-in campaign, the candidate’s name does not appear on the ballot, but voters may write it in.

 

 

 

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