Rosenberg Refuses To Bounce Ethically-Challenged Ally From Key Transparency Panel

BOSTON -- Yesterday, the MassGOP called on Senator Brian Joyce to step aside from a key committee that works on government transparency. Today, MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes released the following statement reacting to Senate President Rosenberg's refusal to remove Joyce from the post:

"The notion of a senator with well-documented ethical lapses who is subject to an ongoing investigation leading a committee on government transparency is an affront to the people of Massachusetts. Senate President Rosenberg’s refusal to remove him from this sensitive post shows that Democratic leaders have no intention of changing the unscrupulous behavior that has led to so many of them being prosecuted and put behind bars in recent years."

Click here to see the MassGOP's release on Joyce's committee chairmanship from yesterday.
Responding to the MassGOP's call for Joyce to step aside from a government transparency committee yesterday, Senate President Rosenberg dug in and made clear he will not remove Joyce from the panel. "The state's Republican Party on Tuesday said Joyce should also be forced to give up his role as chair of the special Senate committee on improving government. But Rosenberg said that would be unnecessary since the committee only conducts research and does not vote on any legislation. ("Senator in ethics probe can stay as head of study panel," Associated Press, 6/10/15)
Despite giving up other leadership posts in the wake allegations of serious ethics and campaign finance violations, Senator Joyce is still the chair of the Senate's Committee to Improve Government, a post he was appointed to by Senate President Rosenberg. "A month after relinquishing two posts while cooperating with an ethics probe into allegations that he improperly used his public office to benefit his legal clients, Sen. Brian Joyce has maintained his co-chairmanship of a special Senate panel charged with improving government performance." (Michael Norton, "Joyce still leading panel on government performance," State House News Service, 6/9/15)

Joyce has been dogged by his ethical problems recently, and the MassGOP filed a formal complaint associated with the allegations. "The Globe story outlined multiple examples of Joyce blurring the lines between his public duties and private business. It described his aggressively seeking legal work from communities that rely on the Legislature for funding and the fact that he rarely discloses clients to the Ethics Commission, which is required if a lawmaker sees potential for conflicts of interest in his votes....

"The Massachusetts Republican Party has filed a formal complaint asking it to investigate Joyce’s potential conflicts." (Frank Phillips and Andrea Estes, "State Senate discusses possible Brian Joyce ethics inquiry," Boston Globe, 5/8/15)