Esty, Bowing To Political Pressure, Says She Will Not Seek Re-election

Esty, Bowing To Political Pressure, Says She Will Not Seek Re-election

Esty, Bowing To Political Pressure, Says She Will Not Seek Re-election

Faced with calls from fellow Democrats for her resignation, three-term Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said Monday she will not seek re-election, due to her handling of reports of abuse by her former chief of staff.

Facing calls for her resignation from state Democrats in Connecticut, Esty said in a statement that her decision was "in the best interest of my constituents and my family".

CT is now represented by an all-Democratic congressional delegation and her exit leaves the state's party scrambling for a replacement candidate.

In her letter to the House Ethics Committee, Esty said she learned about the allegations "through a third party" in May 2016, and dismissed Baker after receiving an investigation's report on his behavior. 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.

A spokesman for Baker, the former chief of staff, told the Connecticut Post and The Washington Post that he denies some of the allegations.

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Esty said she wants the committee to "clarify whether there was any wrongdoing" on her part.

"I can only hope that my actions moving forward and over a lifetime of recovery can prove that I am a better man than I was during the time that I worked on Capitol Hill", Mr. Baker said in a statement provided by Mr. Ricci on Monday. "While there are still many who I owe apologies to, I do not expect forgiveness from anyone, whether they are survivors like Anna or victims like Elizabeth and others". In the bad situation in my office, I could have and should have done better. She kept Baker on staff during a three-month investigation of his behavior.

Esty's district in CT leans heavily Democratic. "At which point, I hired a new chief of staff, made changes to senior staff, changed employment policy, and instituted mandatory harassment trainings".

"The truth is, too many facts about how this incident was handled fall short of appropriate standards for responsible and responsive leadership", said Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who had not publicly called for her to resign.

Esty is the ninth member of Congress to leave over harassment allegations.

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A week after learning of the allegations against Baker in May 2016, Esty launched an internal review. Cathy Osten (D-Baltic) is Deputy Senate President Pro tem and added, "My stance is still that I would ask, respectfully ask, that the congresswoman take into consideration what I and other Democrats are asking and that she resign".

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.

In May 2016, the Post reported, Baker had left a threatening voicemail for Kain: "You better f--g reply to me or I will f--g kill you", the recording said.

Esty and Baker signed a nondisclosure agreement concerning the details of his termination.

Esty stayed out of sight on Monday, but the news that she helped an alleged abuser get a job, a severance payment, and a non-disclosure agreement is not sitting well with prominent members of her own political party.

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