Senate appoints new acting president as Rosenberg takes leave amid sex scandal investigation

The decision was made during a closed-door democratic caucus at the State House

BOSTON (WWLP) – The State Senate on Monday night, appointed a new acting president following the Beacon Hill sex scandal.

The Senate elected Majority Leader Harriette Chandler to serve as acting Massachusetts Senate President during the investigation into sexual misconduct allegations involving Senator Stan Rosenberg’s husband.

Chandler to serve as acting Senate President

That announcement came after a nearly eight-hour, closed-door democratic caucus at the State House.

State Senator James Walsh released a statement to 22News sharing his input on the matter.

I am grateful to the Majority Leader, Senator Harriet Chandler, for agreeing to serve as Acting Senate President. Today, the Senate has acted to ensure it can swiftly and comprehensively investigate these serious allegations. I look forward to returning to the other business in front of the Senate and to moving forward in a productive way.”

Rosenberg announced on Monday that he intended to take a leave of absence from his responsibilities as Senate President during the investigation.

He has not been accused of wrongdoing.

Sen. Lesser: Lawmakers “must establish protocols” for reporting suspected abuse

The Boston Globe reported last week that several men had accused Rosenberg’s husband, Bryon Hefner, of groping them and sexually harassing them.

One local woman didn’t understand why Rosenberg would have to step aside.

“I think it should totally be separate,” said Betsy Johnson of Belchertown. “He didn’t do anything. Because your spouse might have done something does not make you culpable. I don’t think he should step down or should have stepped down.”

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.

Attorney General Maura Healey and the Suffolk County District Attorney are asking anyone with information about the allegations to contact either of their offices.