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“We need to understand how this impacted the Senate, who was involved, and if any action needs to be taken to protect the integrity of the body,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr who expects the special investigator will be appointed sometime next week.
Senator Rosenberg refused to take any questions but grew emotional as he reflected on the last 24 hours, including revealing Hefner is now seeking treatment for alcohol dependence.
"To the best of my recollection I was not approached by anyone with complaints during or after the alleged incidents made in this article or I would have tried to intervene." The Globe said the four men felt powerless to report the encounters because they feared alienating Rosenberg, believing Hefner had tremendous sway with the Senate leader.
The paper said it granted the four men anonymity because they must still work with Rosenberg, and interact with Hefner.
He's told reporters that he was aware of two incidents of sexual harassment since becoming the Senate leader, and that both had been resolved to the satisfaction of the victims.
In a December 2014 letter to 33 Democratic senators, Rosenberg vowed to create a "firewall" between his personal and professional life.
In the initial statement issued by his office earlier Thursday, the Amherst Democrat said he first heard of the allegations when they were published by the Globe.
"Even though, based on what little I have been told, these allegations do not involve members or employees of the Senate and did not occur in the State House, I take them seriously," Rosenberg said.
He said he had authorized Majority Leader Harriette Chandler, of Worcester, the number two Democrat in the Senate, to work with Republican Leader Bruce Tarr, of Gloucester, and Senate counsel to determine how the investigation should be structured and carried out.
"While the Senate President will be recused in this matter, he will remain in the Office of the Senate President and retain his responsibilities for all other matters before the Senate," Chandler said in a statement, according to CBS Boston.
The Globe said it uncovered no evidence Rosenberg knew about the alleged assaults, though in some cases, he was nearby when the incidents occurred. "It's really important for the Senate as soon as possible to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations." Baker said any investigation must ensure those who come forward are protected against retribution.