The Massachusetts Senate is expected to meet this afternoon to discuss the latest political crisis to cast a shadow over Beacon Hill.

The Senate is expected to approve the hiring of an independent investigator to conduct yet another investigation of the guys and gals we send to Boston to do the state's business. While hiring an outsider gumshoe is unprecedented, at least in modern times, criminal probes under the golden dome are not. In fact, three of the last four House Speakers have resigned under clouds of suspicion. The last one went to jail.

Hell, the New Bedford area alone has had two disgraced senators. One even wound up in the pokey.

This latest little scandal involves Bryon Hefner, the 30 year old husband of 68 year old Senate President Stanley Rosenberg who reportedly bragged of his connections to powerful people on "the hill" while allegedly grabbing the genitals of several men who might benefit from those connections. Hefner has gone away for, you guessed it, alcoholic dependency issues since all of this broke late last week.

It is heartening to hear that President Rosenberg has announced that he will step down as the leader for the Senate for the duration of the investigation.

Massachusetts government is ripe with corruption. It comes from too few incumbents feeling the heat of a political opponent. For too long incumbents have felt secure in their positions. It's time that those of us who pay the bills start demanding better.

Senators Mark Montigny and Michael Rodrigues, both members of the leadership have an opportunity to lead during this crisis of leadership. Voters of the Bristol and Plymouth districts surely hope they can rise to the occasion.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.