By Seth Daniel
As Beacon Hill has reverberated with scandal this week due to the situation surrounding Senate President Stan Rosenberg – who has now stepped down temporarily – the tremors of that conflict have certainly made waves in Everett too.
The situation started last Thursday when the Boston Globe reported an alleged sexual harassment scandal involving Rosenberg’s husband, Bryon Haffner. The nature and allegations in that scandal led many to believe Rosenberg might have to step away.
And with that revelation, it was only natural that talk began to focus on who might step to the plate if Rosenberg were unable to come back.
Already, in the Boston media and in conversations around Everett, many have naturally turned to Everett State Sen. Sal DiDomenico.
DiDomenico has been a faithful ally to Rosenberg, who grew up in neighboring Revere, and has always routinely visited Everett. For his loyalty, DiDomenico has climbed the ranks in the Senate to now be situated as vice chair of the all important Senate Committee on Ways and Means – as well as the vice chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
Those jobs mean DiDomenico has had major say over spending within the State Budget process over the last several years, garnering many friends statewide in the Senate.
That likely would translate into votes and votes of confidence.
DiDomenico would make no public comment this week, but Boston media reports and insiders at the State House have reported he would be seeking the post if Rosenberg were to eventually leave permanently.
A chief rival is seen in Dorchester Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, who has great support from the Boston delegation and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.
Others have also been mentioned, but insiders and Boston media reports show those are the two major contenders.
As of now, Rosenberg has said in statements that he is not leaving permanently, and is only stepping down until the investigation of his husband is completed.
“I believe taking a leave of absence from the Senate Presidency during the investigation is in the best interest of the Senate,” he said on Monday. “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…I wish to reemphasize that the most important thing is to make sure that anyone who may have been hurt has every assurance that they can turn to whatever authority they feel comfortable with, with absolutely no fear of retribution, and to restore confidence in the Senate. During my leave of absence from being Senate President, I look forward to a thorough, fair, and independent investigation. I thank my colleagues for providing this opportunity, and have every confidence that the Acting President will help the Senate focus on a robust agenda for 2018.”
That acting senate president was appointed late Monday night, and she is veteran Worcester Sen. Harriette Chandler.
Were the situation to change once again regarding Rosenberg’s status as a member of the Senate, certainly one wouldn’t be surprised to find the name of Everett’s Sal DiDomenico to resurface as a top potential next leader.