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After ignominious Beacon Hill exit, Stan Rosenberg to lead panel at legislative summit

Former Senate president Stanley C. Rosenberg in December 2017.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/File

Stanley C. Rosenberg, the former Senate president who resigned his seat in May after investigators found “significant failures” in his leadership, is re-emerging on the legislative stage — in Los Angeles.

The Amherst Democrat is slated to lead a panel on redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ annual summer summit, which the group touts as the “biggest and best gathering” of its kind and is expected to bring together thousands of state lawmakers and staffers on the West Coast.

Billed as a “former state senator” on the agenda, Rosenberg is listed as a facilitator of a four-speaker panel scheduled for Tuesday, during which attendees will “head back to university and prepare to learn” about redrawing districts.

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It’s a topic Rosenberg knows well. He twice led the chamber’s redistricting efforts, first following the 2000 census and again a decade later, when legislators had to eliminate a district and redrew how voters are represented on Capitol Hill.

Rosenberg was hailed for the openness he brought to the debate in 2011, even as he faced intense political pressure over the politically thorny task, including how to handle the district of then-Congressman John W. Olver before Olver opted to retire. Rosenberg had served as an aide to Olver, and had co-owned a Beacon Hill condominium with him for years. (Rosenberg is now the sole owner, according to city records.)

Rosenberg’s role in discussing best practices is notable, however, given how he exited Beacon Hill. He stepped down from the Senate presidency after the Boston Globe published a story in which four men said his husband, Bryon Hefner, had sexually assaulted and harassed them and bragged he could influence Senate business.

The Senate then launched an internal ethics investigation into Rosenberg, which concluded that Rosenberg “knew or should have known” that Hefner was racially and sexually harassing Senate employees. Rosenberg and Hefner have since been sued by one of Hefner’s accusers.

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Mick Bullock, a spokesman for the NCSL, said Rosenberg was asked to participate “based on his knowledge and expertise in redistricting.” But he could not say when the NCSL invited the former senator, and he did not address a question about whether the group was aware of the circumstances surrounding Rosenberg’s departure from the State House.

Reached by text message about his role at the legislative summit, Rosenberg declined to comment.


Matt Stout can be reached at matt.stout@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattpstout.