The Senate Ethics Committee Spent $230,000 For This?

stan rosenberg massachusetts senate president

(Lana Jones/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Until now, I haven’t had that much to say about the saga of State Sen. Stan Rosenberg and his fall from power.

Rosenberg had a clean record on Beacon Hill, and even among political opponents was widely regarded as a good guy.

And from what we learned about the way he was cruelly manipulated by his significant other, if you couldn’t drum up a shred of sympathy for him, it’s probably because you lack the sympathy gene.

But the Senate Ethics Committee report on the Rosenberg affair, a $230,000 project by a big international law firm, made me mad.

First of all, this probe is lame.

There’s plenty of bold talk about the Committee’s relentless pursuit of truth, but the truth doesn’t match the boasting. Witnesses were reluctant to come forward because they didn’t trust the Committee to do the right thing.

The investigators set up an anonymous hotline for tipsters; not a single call came in.

The report confirms what we already knew thanks to the Boston Globe – that Rosenberg’s promise of a “firewall” between his work and private life was never real. But it punts on the core question – what did Rosenberg know about his husband’s allegedly criminal activities and when did he know it?

Incredibly, it says “he knew or should have known” about it.

Which is it?

And the Committee’s conclusion that other than being denied committee-chairman pay for the next two years, no further penalty is warranted, is awfully chummy. They were less generous to potential challengers for Rosenberg’s Senate seat, dropping this report the day after the filing deadline had passed.

Lots of institutions struggle to police themselves.

The Massachusetts Senate is one of them.

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Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more


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