Elizabeth Esty won't seek re-election amid harassment claims

More CT Democrats call for Esty's resignation

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.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Esty said: "I have determined that it is in the best interest of my constituents and my family to end my time in Congress at the end of this year and not seek re-election".

In a statement Monday, Pelosi said she stands behind the House Ethics Committee investigation into how she handled a complaint within her administration.

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".

Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto said he has no doubt that Esty will use this tough lesson "to fight for workplace protections and continue her work on women's issues, of which she has been a leading advocate for the entirely of her career".

In revelations that emerged last week, Esty came under fire for apparently keeping her chief of staff on the payroll for three months after she learned that the man allegedly sexually harassed and threatened another colleague.

Esty insisted in interviews with Hearst and the Post that she did not know the young female staffer - Anna Kain, who has since gone public with her allegations - had been in a relationship of any kind with Baker, let alone an abusive one.

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

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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.

Ms. Esty, an attorney, said she was alerted in May 2016 of possible misconduct by Mr. Baker, and that a subsequent inquiry found "a pattern of behavior that victimized numerous women on my staff".

Esty said in a statement Monday: "In the awful situation in my office, I could have and should have done better".

Esty's district in CT leans heavily Democratic.

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

Pelosi has called for the resignation of Democrats accused of misconduct in the past, most notably Nevada Representative Ruben Kihuen and former Michigan Representative John Conyers. She also reportedly signed a nondisclosure agreement preventing her from speaking ill of him or discussing why he left. 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".

Kain provided The Washington Post with a voicemail documenting the threat, which resulted in the issuance of a restraining order against Baker.

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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