Esty Won't Seek Re-election Amid Reports She Mishandled Abuse Claims

Congresswoman Elizabeth Etsy- Connecticut

Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) announced on Monday that she won't seek re-election after she mishandled an accusation of sexual harassment against a former top aide in her office. In her announcement on Monday, Esty said she's determined that it's in the best interest of her constituents and her family to end her time in Congress at the end of this year. Esty said she fired Baker about three months later after receiving an internal investigation report that revealed improper behavior by Baker that affected multiple female staffers.

Earlier Monday, Esty asked the House Ethics Committee to determine whether she did anything wrong in handling Baker's firing.

Esty, a Democrat from CT and an outspoken #MeToo advocate, was accused of not protecting female staffers from the ex-chief of staff. Esty has said she regrets not moving along an internal investigation into the allegations, which revealed more widespread allegations of abuse, and regrets providing "even the slightest assistance to this individual as he sought a new job".

Karen Jarmoc of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence said her organization can not take a position on if Esty should resign, but stated, "There were some serious missteps around how this was managed and, specifically, in relation to holding an offender accountable and insuring there was support and resources for a victim". Esty has been a vocal advocate for stronger gun laws but has been mostly unable to pass any new federal legislation since the 2012 shooting.

The National Republican Campaign Committee's communications director Matt Gorman said Esty's "cover up over her staffer's domestic violence scandal was as reprehensible as it was morally bankrupt".

Andrew Ricci, a friend of Baker's who has spoken on his behalf, released a statement from Baker following the news Esty would not run again.

"To the survivor, I want to express my strongest apology for letting you down", she said, adding that employees need stronger protections in the workplace. In the bad situation in my office, I could have and should have done better.

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Kain declined a one-on-one meeting with Sandler, arranged by Esty, without her lawyer present.

That's when she hired a new chief of staff and instituted mandatory harassment trainings for her staff, the letter states.

Esty is the ninth member of Congress to leave over harassment allegations. A senior staffer accused her her chief of staff of punching her and sexually harassing her, as well as leaving threatening voicemails that included one where he threatened to kill her if she didn't call him back.

State Senator Mae Flexer, D-Danielson, was the first Democrat to call for Esty's resignation, last weekend.

A week after learning of the allegations against Baker in May 2016, Esty launched an internal review.

The Post obtained emails that revealed Esty was informed of the May 5, 2016 threat six days later and forced Baker to undergo counseling but did not fire him. She also reportedly signed a nondisclosure agreement preventing her from speaking ill of him or discussing why he left.

As part of a severance agreement, Baker received about $5,000 in taxpayer money when he was sacked.

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