The Massachusetts State Senate elected Worcester Senator Harriette L. Chandler late Monday as the acting Senate president after Senator Stan Rosenberg stepped down. Rosenberg said he wanted to ensure the investigation into sexual harassment allegations against his husband Bryon Hefner was not tainted by the appearance of partiality. The investigation will also look at whether Hefner's claim of exerting influence over official Senate business has any basis.
On Tuesday morning, the Democrat-controlled Senate Ethics Committee begins the process of hiring an outside investigator.
The second woman to ever serve as Senate president, Chandler is entering the office under trying circumstances. She’s taking over the job — at least temporarily — from a colleague she deeply respects, she said. Chandler said she did not want to ascend to the presidency under these circumstances but said she felt compelled to accept the nomination.
“The integrity of the Senate must be restored … we must get on with the work of the Senate, which has a very heavy agenda as we move on into the last seven months of our term,” Chandler said. She also said she would step down after the investigation is complete, but said she and her colleagues have “no idea” when that will be.
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