Comment on Senate Ethics Committee’s Release of Report of Special Investigation in the Matter of Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg

Boston, 2 May 2018 – As tasked by the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ethics, Hogan Lovells has a prepared a comprehensive report on its investigation into the conduct of Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg related to allegations against his spouse, Bryon Hefner, pursuant to Senate Order 2228. The investigation team led by Hogan Lovells attorneys Anthony E. Fuller, Jody L. Newman and Natashia Tidwell searched over 250,000 emails, reviewed tens of thousands of text messages and other documents, and conducted 45 interviews of Senate personnel and others who had business in the Senate. As mandated by the Senate Order, the identities of witnesses have been kept confidential in the report and were not disclosed to the Ethics Committee. Nor was the Ethics Committee given access to the underlying emails, text messages and other documents.

The report released today concludes the following:

  • Senator Rosenberg violated the Senate IT Policy by continually sharing his confidential network password with Bryon Hefner from 2009 through February, 2017, thereby allowing Hefner access to confidential Senate information contained in Senate email.
  • We found no evidence that Senator Rosenberg was aware that Bryon Hefner had sexually assaulted Senate staff or others having business in the Senate. Nonetheless, we conclude that Senator Rosenberg severely undermined the stated goal of the Senate Anti-Harassment Policy -- to promote a workplace that is free of sexual or other forms of harassment -- because Senator Rosenberg should have known that Bryon Hefner was likely to engage in sexual and racially harassing conduct towards Senate personnel and did not adequately address Hefner’s propensity to engage in such harassing conduct.
  • In light of all that he knew about Bryon Hefner’s past behavior, Senator Rosenberg acted unreasonably in giving Hefner access to the affairs of the Senate – both through access to email and through his day to day communications with him -- because Senator Rosenberg knew that Hefner was likely to misuse the information.
  • Senator Rosenberg did not violate Senate Rule 10, which prohibits Senators from exerting undue influence or using their position for financial gain.

“As I stated at the outset of our investigation, our highest priority was getting to the truth,” said Fuller. “The report does not refer to rumors or innuendo; it contains only those facts that we were able to corroborate or otherwise found credible. We remained true to our commitment to conduct a full, fair and independent investigation. Our report is comprehensive and speaks for itself. We do not anticipate any further comment on this matter.”

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