Rosenberg says report of new allegations contains ‘significant factual inaccuracies’

  • Bryon Hefner is the husband of state Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst. File Photo


For The Recorder
Sunday, February 04, 2018

Sen. Stan Rosenberg on Sunday responded to new allegations, brought to light by the Boston Globe, that the senator directed his staff to grant his husband, Bryon Hefner, access to his Senate email account, his contacts and his calendar.

Rosenberg stepped aside from his position as Senate president in December after the Globe reported the allegations of four men who said Hefner sexually assaulted and harassed them and suggested he could pull strings with Rosenberg with respect to Senate business.

Rosenberg declined comment for Sunday’s report, by Yvonne Abraham, but took issue with the piece in a statement to the Gazette.

“Ms. Abraham’s story contains a number of significant factual inaccuracies,” he said. “Out of respect for and deference to the investigation, we need to let that run its course. I will have further comment once the investigation is complete.”

In interviews with unnamed sources who dealt with Hefner and a review of communications, the Globe details allegations that Hefner had full access to Rosenberg’s emails, attempted to affect the state budget and involved himself in both the working of Rosenberg’s office as well as Senate affairs.

Besides investigators hired by the Senate Committee on Ethics, the allegations are being investigated by the FBI, Attorney General Maura Healey and the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

The Senate investigation seeks to determine whether Rosenberg knew about Hefner’s actions and if Hefner had any role in decisions made in the Senate.

Rosenberg has denied any knowledge of Hefner’s alleged actions and emphatically stated that Hefner has had no influence on Senate decisions.

Reached Sunday, Sen. Don Humason, R-Westfield, said he read the Boston Globe’s piece detailing the new allegations and found it concerning.

“I worry about what we don’t know. I guess, obviously, that is what the investigation is supposed to tell us, members of the Legislature and public,” Humason said.

“It’s obviously concerning because it seems to contradict a little bit what Senate President Rosenberg said about the firewall. It seems to demonstrate there wasn’t really much of a firewall at all.”

Humason said he did not know how long the investigation into Rosenberg’s actions would take but stressed that he wanted investigators to take the time they needed.

“We just want to know what the truth was,” Humason said. “Once we know, we can get back to business. … It’s just not easy. Not easy for any of us.”

Rosenberg’s role as Senate leader is being filled by Worcester Democratic Sen. Harriette Chandler during the interim.