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Rosenberg to step aside for now as Senate leader

Rosenberg to step aside for now as Senate leader”

Rosenberg had originally said he would recuse himself only from any matters related to the investigation or the allegations against Bryon Hefner.

All other dealings on Beacon Hill were blocked out like an eclipse by the bombshell report in The Boston Globe that Rosenberg's husband of one year, Bryon Hefner, had allegedly sexually assaulted at least four men.

WBUR's Statehouse reporter Steve Brown joined Morning Edition to explain what's happening with the Senate today. Barbara L'Italien said in a statement.

Rosenberg's move will set up a scramble to fill the top post, at least on an interim basis, as the Senate prepares to hire an outside special investigator. "Nobody should feel afraid to speak his or her truth", said L'Italien.

Asked if he's received word that Rosenberg is stepping away, Sen. Senators should insist on an investigation that's beyond reproach, and that won't be possible unless Rosenberg takes a leave from the presidency.

Visibly shaken by the allegations against his husband, Rosenberg faced the cameras roughly 24 hours after Hefner's alleged transgression were put on public display in what Rosenberg called the "most hard time" in his political and personal life.

Earlier Thursday evening, Rosenberg supported the call for an independent investigation of the allegations "regarding the activities of my husband and their effects on Senate business" and said he would leave it to Chandler and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr to develop a structure and process for the probe.

The meeting was scheduled for Monday, but will now be held at a later date because the State Senate has a formal session scheduled.

Rosenberg on Friday ignored a question about whether he can effectively lead the Senate while an investigator explores the allegations against Hefner, which Chandler has acknowledged involve the office of the Senate president.

Rosenberg said Hefner will soon enter treatment for alcohol dependency. The Globe reported the four men were still not ready to take that step, but the door has been opened.

"It is simply not true", Rosenberg said in a statement read to reporters on Friday.

But it had become clear to many observers that, for the good of the office, Rosenberg had no choice but to step down.

After Hefner had embarrassed Rosenberg with unprofessional behavior a few years ago, the Senate president had vowed to establish a firewall between his personal and professional lives. Neither one of those things has happened.

But whether or not [Hefner] was out there portraying himself to have influence over his husband, the Senate president, and the rest of the Senate, is a serious concern to the senators, and is likely where they're going to focus a lot of their time on this investigation.



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