How Much Did Ethics Investigation of Stan Rosenberg Cost?

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The Massachusetts Senate’s ethics investigation of former Senate president Stan Rosenberg cost about $230,000, an legislative aide said.

A law firm hired by the Senate Committee on Ethics on December 19 released a report Wednesday detailing accusations against Bryon Hefner, the now-estranged civil-law husband of Rosenberg, including sexual assault and sexual harassment. The report finds that Rosenberg failed to restrain Hefner and instead allowed him to abuse his access to Rosenberg’s trappings of power.

The 77-page report was prepared by Hogan Lovells, a law firm with an office in Boston, which billed the committee a total of about $230,000 for its work, according to Kelsey Brennan, a spokesman for state Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport), chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics.

The money will be paid “from existing Senate funds,” according to a statement from the Ethics Committee.

Investigators did not find evidence that Rosenberg knew of Hefner’s reported improper dealings with staff members, lobbyists, and other senators.

“But there is ample evidence of Senator Rosenberg’s failures of judgment and leadership. Amid allegations that Hefner was attempting to interject himself in the business of the Senate, Senator Rosenberg promised to erect a ‘firewall’ to prevent that. But he broke that promise and the precise harm that the firewall was meant to deter occurred: Hefner continued to interject himself into the business and life of the Senate,” the report states.

It continues:

“Senator Rosenberg re-issued Senate policies under his signature that were designed to keep the Senate, its members, staff and operating systems safe. But he did not comply with those policies, even in spirit. And when informed of possible violations, he did not adequately address them. Indeed, Senator Rosenberg claims that he was not bound by the policies. That is not leadership. Moreover, Senator Rosenberg’s failings in this regard had destructive consequences for the institution and the people he led.”

The report recommended that the Senate bar Rosenberg from leadership positions for the rest of the current two-year legislative term and next term, as well.

Instead, Rosenberg, 68, announced Thursday afternoon that he is resigning from the Massachusetts Senate, effective at 5 p.m. Friday.