After weeks of scrutiny on the relationship between presumptive state Senate president Stanley C. Rosenberg and his domestic partner, who works for the prominent Boston public relations firm Regan Communications Group, Bryon Hefner has been reassigned to the company’s Florida office, according to a statement Saturday from the firm.
Rosenberg, 65, has attempted to put out numerous fires that have been sparked in the past several weeks by blurred lines between the professional and personal lives of the senator and Hefner, 27.
Regan Communications markets its ability to “help clients build stronger relationships with key lawmakers on the local, state, and federal levels through successful lobbying efforts.”
A spokeswoman at Regan Communications said in a brief e-mailed statement that Hefner will be working with clients in Florida but gave no details. “We have reassigned Bryon Hefner; he will be relocating to our Florida office and working on our clients in that region,” said Mariellen Burns.
When asked for clarification about the reassignment, Burns replied by e-mail Saturday night that Hefner’s move is a lateral one and that his workload will be similar.
According to the Regan website, the Florida branch is in the town of Jupiter.
Rosenberg and Hefner could not be reached for comment Saturday evening.
Hefner, who began working for Regan in May, has angered state senators with apparent boasts about his influence in legislative matters and taunts to outgoing Senate President Therese Murray through social media.
Hefner and Rosenberg’s relationship has been highly criticized despite the lawmaker’s repeated comments that Hefner’s inappropriate behavior and actions had been ended.
Earlier this month, Rosenberg said he had “enforced a firewall” between his business life and personal life.
After the Globe reported the accusations of Hefner’s social media mockery of Murray, Rosenberg sent a letter to the other 33 Democratic state senators to assure them of the separation of work and personal life. Rosenberg, a Democrat from Amherst, retained support from some lawmakers after the letters went out.
Rosenberg and Hefner have lived together since 2009, and the senator previously said “we are in a deeply committed relationship.”
On Saturday, the Globe reported that Rosenberg went on a trip early this month to a state government conference with five other lawmakers at a luxury beachfront hotel on St. Thomas. Hefner also attended, even after the senator had assured co-workers that he was keeping his relationship and work separate two days prior.
Rosenberg’s chief of staff, Natasha Perez, said in that report that “no Senate business was discussed” during the trip to St. Thomas. “Any claim to the contrary is not true,” she told the Globe in an e-mail.
However, accounts of an argument in the resort at St. Thomas between Hefner and another senator over internal Senate politics were reported in that story.
Rosenberg’s close ties to Regan, through Hefner, add a layer of complexity to his attendance at firm-sponsored events or events with any of Regan’s clients.
But Perez said in the Saturday story that the senator “certainly has not referred anyone” to Regan or “any other firm.”
Regan Communications Group does not directly lobby, according to Burns, who said in the Saturday story that if a client needs lobbying, Regan will outsource the work. “We have the highest ethical standards, and this is not a problem,” Burns said.
Amidst the criticism, Rosenberg told the Globe last month that Hefner had helped him through his recovery from cancer. Their relationship also helped Rosenberg come out to the public about his sexual orientation.
Derek J. Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jim O’Sullivan and Frank Phillips of Globe staff contributed to this report.