Dem rep apologizes after saying she 'failed to protect' staffer who faced threats, abuse

Dem rep apologizes after saying she 'failed to protect' staffer who faced threats, abuse
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Rep. Elizabeth EstyElizabeth Henderson EstyConnecticut elects first black congresswoman Former aides alleging sexual harassment on Capitol Hill urge congressional action Rising Dem star in Connecticut says people like me ‘deserve a seat at the table’ in Congress MORE (D-Conn.) apologized on Thursday for "failing to protect" a female former staffer who alleged that she was abused and threatened by the congresswoman's former chief of staff.

"I am sorry that I failed to protect her and provide her with the safe and respectful work environment that every employee deserves," Esty wrote in a Facebook post. "I am sorry that I hurt her, her friends, family, and co-workers, and many of my present and former staffers."

Esty's comments came after CTPost.com published a story earlier Thursday detailing the woman's allegations against the former chief of staff, Tony Baker.


Among the allegations contained in a protective order against Baker were that he had screamed at, punched and threatened the staffer with death.

In her Facebook post, Esty said that after she became aware of the situation in 2016, she demanded that Baker attend counseling and launched an internal review of management practices in her office.

Baker was eventually fired. But CTPost.com reported that he received $5,000 in severance pay and that Esty gave him a favorable recommendation that helped him get a job at the gun violence prevention group, Sandy Hook Promise.

Through the review process, Esty said, she learned that the "threat of violence was not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern of behavior that victimized many of the women on my staff."

"To this survivor, and to anyone else on my team who was hurt by my failure to see what was going on in my office, I am so sorry," she said. "I’ve asked myself over and over again, how did I not see this? How could I have let down so many people?"