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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has spoken out in favor of ending sexual harassment, especially in the context of the Congress, and yet she acknowledged on Thursday that she had failed to protect her own employees and to provide a "safe and respectful work environment". to offer.
The Connecticut Democrats apologize for "failure to see what was going on" after their former chief of staff stayed for months on a former employee who had charged him with sexual harassment and physical abuse The apology was released the same day The Washington Post published a report describing the allegations made by Anna Kain, the former counselor, against Tony Baker, with whom she had once made an appointment
(The Connecticut Post first reported on the Investigation of Esty's handling of allegations of abuse against Baker.)
Kain said The Washington Post told Esty in the spring of 2016 that Baker had sexually harassed, threatened, and even beaten her in Apitol at Estys C. Hill, where she served as Senior Advisor to the Congress in 2014.
Esty says she was initially scared to say something because she did not want to jeopardize her boss's chances of reelection.
Cain went to the police afterwards She said she received a Baker threatening phone call in May 2016 and received a restraining order against him. Esty was reportedly told about the call, but allowed Baker to keep his position for three months; He left 12 August and received $ 5,000 in severance payments and a draft letter of recommendation from Esty praising his "considerable ability".
Esty also reportedly signed a secrecy agreement with Baker that contained several secrecy provisions] The congressman told Post that signing the agreement was wrong for her, but she felt pressured by the Office of Employment Counsel.
Baker continued to work for the gun attorney, Sandy Hook Promise. However, he was reportedly released from his post after Post had contacted him this week.
In her statement, Esty said she was "shocked and angry" to learn of her former chief of staff in the spring of 2016 had "harassed and harmed" the former employee – Esty's statement does not use the names of both individuals.
Esty says she has "addressed the immediate crisis" She calls for advice to the chief of staff and says she later learned through a review process that other women in her Team as a "part of a pattern of behavior" have fallen victim.
It was then, according to Esty, that she hired a new Chief of Staff and introduced a forced harassment training
"I kept wondering, how did I not see that? How could I let so many people down? "
Esty swore," Now that I know, I have to do better, we all have to do better. "
The #Metoo movement has challenged sexual harassment in a variety of industries and institutions, and the Congress was not spared.
In February, the House of Representatives stepped up the Congressional Accountability Act to protect congress workers from harassment.
Esty, who voted in favor of the measure, published a statement at the time that she, too, was molested as a young intern and lawyer.
"The culture in Washington was bad and quiet at the time," said Esty. "Nobody, whether employee, intern, colleague or member working in public service, should feel anxious or intimidated to get to work And I'm determined to make sure that my staff and I maintain an office environment without harassment. "
On Friday, Hartford Courant issued a statement calling for Esty to resign and said she had the" The World's Best. " Harassment charged and delayed Baker was "horrific."