Rosenberg: Senate harassment reports involved intern, visitor

  • Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said he “quietly” initiated a review of the branch’s sexual harassment policies. “This was not something you put in the newspaper. It was my job, I’m manager in chief,” he said. shns photo

State House News Service
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Neither of the two sexual harassment reports Senate officials have fielded in the last three years involve allegations against lawmakers, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said Tuesday.

Rosenberg said last month that he had dealt with two complaints of sexual harassment since he began leading the chamber in 2015, and on Tuesday offered more details about the situations he said were “resolved to the satisfaction of the reporter.”

In one case, an intern was accused of misconduct and no longer works in the building, Rosenberg said. He declined to say if the intern was asked to leave.

“Options were put on the table,” he said. “I’m not supposed to discuss the details, so all I can tell you is options were put on the table and it was resolved to the satisfaction of the reporter.”

The other case involved allegations by a State House staffer against “a visitor to the building,” Rosenberg said.

Six women senators, in an effort spearheaded by Majority Leader Harriette Chandler, plan to use December and January to see if there are ways to improve the Senate’s policies around sexual harassment, Rosenberg said. He said the group has already pegged the training of interns as a “deficiency.”

“We identified that as a weakness. We’ll fix it,” Rosenberg said. “If the committee comes back with any additional suggestions, we will definitely consider them seriously.”

The issue of sexual harassment on Beacon Hill was placed in the spotlight after a Boston Globe column in October featured anonymous accounts from a dozen women detailing instances of harassment and misconduct by men, including current and former elected officials.

After the column was published, the House adopted an order requiring its legal counsel, James Kennedy, to conduct a comprehensive review of the branch’s sexual harassment policies and report back with recommendations by March 2018.