New York Assembly's Independent Counsel On Preventing Sexual Harassment In The State Legislature

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State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said Monday he will step down as the leader of the body, for the duration of an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against his husband.

Rosenberg wrote in a statement "I believe taking a leave of absence from the Senate Presidency during the investigation is in the best interest of the Senate. I want to ensure that the investigation is fully independent and credible, and that anyone who wishes to come forward will feel confident that there will be no retaliation."

Bryon Hefner, Rosenberg's husband, has faced allegations of assault and harassment from four men who shared their experiences with the Boston Globe. Hefner allegedly groped three of the men and forcibly kissed one.

The other story here is how this, or any of the alleged sexual harassment cases on Beacon Hill were allowed to happen.

There are ways to fix this and other legislatures have tried. Back in 2012, the New York State Assembly was rocked with allegations of sexual harassment by a top assemblyman from Brooklyn, Vito Lopez

Lopez eventually resigned and the case prompted the New York legislature to make major, concrete changes in how it handles sexual assault.


Steve Brown, WBUR State House reporter. He tweets @wbursteve.

Merrick Rossein, professor at the City University of New York Law School, specializing in employment law and sexual harassment law. He has also served on the New York State's Task Force on Sexual Harassment and is currently the state assembly's independent counsel and neutral investigator.

This segment aired on December 4, 2017.


Jamie Bologna Senior Producer/Director, Radio Boston
Jamie Bologna was senior producer and director of Radio Boston.


Meghna Chakrabarti Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.


Steve Brown Senior Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's senior State House reporter.



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