Acting Senate President Chandler Discusses Rosenberg Investigation

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Tuesday is the first full day on the job for Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler, who was elected Monday evening to take over for Stanley Rosenberg while the Senate investigates allegations of sexual misconduct against his husband.

Acting President Chandler said her priorities as leader of the State Senate will be the same ones that the body set earlier this year--criminal justice reform, health care, economic development, and a variety of other issues--and that her position was not permanent. 

"There is no scenario, as far as I am concerned, where I will remain president," Sen. Chandler told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. "I made the promise, I announced to both caucuses initially, I have no intention of remaining as President. And there will be a free and open election, as there always is, for the Senate Presidency."

Rosenberg announced he was stepping down Monday morning, following last week's bombshell Boston Globe report in which four men accused his husband, Bryon Hefner, of sexual misconduct. 

The Attorney General and Suffolk District Attorney have opened an investigation into Hefner and whether or not he will face criminal charges--but Chandler said the Senate's investigation deals solely with how the allegations have affected the Senate.

"Ours is really looking at if any damage has been done to the Senate, to the Senate rules, by the Senate President," she said. "How have the actions of his spouse affected, if at all, the activities and the work of the public policy of the Senate?"

Chandler has close ties to Rosenberg, but said that won't affect the investigation.

"I can only tell you that we were professional colleagues, I admire him, but I also feel very strongly about the integrity of the Senate, which we must preserve and we must retain. That's the most important thing at this moment. The work of the Senate is critical, it's paramount."

Chandler said she doesn't know where the investigation will go, but said the panel was going to begin looking for an independent investigator Tuesday.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

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