Cyr Says He Supports Investigation of Former Senate President's Husband

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg speaks from behind a podium outside his office at the Statehouse to a throng of media Friday Dec. 1 2017 in Boston. Rosenberg said his husband Bryon Hefner will soon be entering treatment for alcoholism

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg speaks from behind a podium outside his office at the Statehouse to a throng of media Friday Dec. 1 2017 in Boston. Rosenberg said his husband Bryon Hefner will soon be entering treatment for alcoholism

The Massachusetts State Senate has a new leader. "I want to ensure that the investigation is fully independent and credible, and that anyone who wishes to come forward will feel confident that there will be no retaliation".

Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler has been elected acting Senate president during an upcoming investigation into sexual misconduct allegations surrounding the husband of fellow Sen.

Rosenberg, who took a leave from his president post Monday, had claimed almost three years ago when he assumed the presidency that he had placed a "firewall" between his husband and the Senate after Hefner bragged about influence in the Senate.

The Senate is expected to appoint an independent investigator whose focus likely would be on whether Rosenberg knew about Hefner's alleged behavior, or if Hefner had any clout when it came to matters before the Senate.

"I don't have to tell you how turbulent and tragic and surprising and very sad the last four days have been for all of us", Chandler said.

Rosenberg, D-Amherst, has stepped down from the presidency during an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. The investigator would be given the authority to summon witnesses and have access to Rosenberg's office.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren weighed in Monday, telling reporters "the charges against the Senate president's husband are disgusting and the people who have leveled these charges have a right to be heard and to be respected and protected".

Whether that firewall stood up should also be part of the investigation, said Sen. One alleged victim - a policy advocate who said Hefner assaulted him in the fall of 2015 - said he understood that Hefner was offering to help smooth his path in the Senate in return for sex.

Rosenberg said Hefner will soon enter treatment for alcohol dependency.

"My heart goes out to anyone who may have been hurt, and I am committed to helping anyone who has been harmed", he said.

Rosenberg, a Democrat, originally had said he would recuse himself only from any matters related to the investigation of the allegations against his husband, Bryon Hefner.

She has said she will step down at that point. The men feared reporting the assaults because they had political business with Rosenberg. The Gloucester Republican agreed that it could make victims more likely to come forward.

Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley, both Democrats, said Monday they were prepared to launch an investigation and said anyone with information should feel free to contact either of their offices.

"Sexual assault is a crime", the prosecutors said, "and we want to send a clear message that harassment and assault of any kind will not be tolerated".

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