Senator to call for independent panel for harassment claims

BOSTON (AP) — A state senator is proposing the creation of an independent commission that would investigate all alleged incidents of harassment involving the Massachusetts Legislature.

An aide to Democratic Sen. Jamie Eldridge, of Acton, says legislation establishing the permanent nine-member commission will be filed soon on Beacon Hill.

The Senate Ethics Committee has retained a Boston law firm to investigate whether Stan Rosenberg violated any Senate rules after The Boston Globe reported on allegations that his husband, Bryon Hefner, sexually abused several men. Rosenberg stepped aside as Senate President for the duration of the probe.

Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo recently ordered a review of House rules related to sexual harassment.

Eldridge tells the Boston Herald that the independent mechanism is needed because many people are uncomfortable lodging complaints directly with legislative staff.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.