BOSTON (AP) - Former Senate President Stan Rosenberg said Thursday that he has separated from his husband Bryon Hefner amid an ongoing investigation into whether Rosenberg or his staff violated Senate rules in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct against Hefner.
Rosenberg told reporters Thursday that Hefner is getting treatment for alcohol dependency. He declined to offer details."That's personal and he is getting treatment for alcohol that he needs and that's about all that can be said about that," Rosenberg said.
The Amherst Democrat last month stepped aside as Senate president - at least temporarily - after several men, some of whom had business before the Legislature, told The Boston Globe they had been sexually abused by Hefner.
Worcester Democratic Sen. Harriette Chandler was elected to fill the post of president during the interim.The Senate Ethics Committee said last month that it hired the law firm of Hogan Lovells to serve as a special investigator into whether Rosenberg or his staff violated Senate rules in connection with Hefner allegations.
Rosenberg has said he was unaware of the allegations against Hefner until they were made public and that Hefner exerted no influence over Senate matters.Rosenberg on Thursday said he's hasn't spoken to the law firm and has not discussed the possibility of returning as president with his fellow senators.
"At this point they have been counseled that they should minimize contact with me so that we can be sure out of an abundance of caution that nothing can be said when the investigation is over that there was any interference," Rosenberg said, adding that his return to Beacon Hill after the holidays was "very positive, friendly, and exactly what I would expect from my colleagues with whom I've served and worked for so long.
"The committee said it will release the report publicly while protecting the identities of victims and witnesses.
Attorney General Maura Healey also has said that some alleged victims of Hefner have approached her office. Healey and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said last month that they were prepared to open a separate, criminal investigation of Hefner.
Rosenberg, 68, a state senator since 1991, assumed the top leadership post in January 2015.
He is the first openly gay leader of either legislative chamber in Massachusetts.News of Rosenberg's split from Hefner, 30, comes as questions continue to swirl on Beacon Hill about whether Rosenberg will be able to return to his former leadership spot.
Chandler has said she only plans to serve as Senate president during the process of the investigation, leaving open the possibility of the election of a new president at the conclusion of the probe.
Supporters of Rosenberg are banking on the investigation clearing him. They're hoping that he will still have enough support in the 40-member chamber to return as president.
A handful of other senators have said they would be interested in becoming president if the post becomes available.Senators typically take a vote at the beginning of each two-year session to elect a president.
It takes the votes of a majority of senators - at least 21 - to win the top spot.
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