- Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut issued the apology on Thursday
- Ex-chief of staff Tony Baker was fired in 2016 after allegedly punching staffer
- But walked with severance and job recommendation for Sandy Hook Promise
A Congresswoman has apologized for failing to protect female employees who say they were harassed by her former chief of staff.
Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut issued the apology on Thursday in response to reports over how she handled the firing of her former chief-of-staff Tony Baker, who got a $5,000 severance and job recommendation.
Baker went on to work for Sandy Hook Promise on Esty’s recommendation, after allegedly punching and screaming at a female staffer in Esty’s office, the Connecticut Post reported. A spokesman for Baker has said he denies punching the female employee.
‘In the spring of 2016, I was horrified and angry to learn that a promising, dedicated former employee of mine was harassed and harmed by my then (now former) chief of staff,’ Esty wrote in a lengthy statement of apology.
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (above) of Connecticut issued the apology on Thursday in response to reports over how she handled the firing of her former chief-of-staff Tony Baker
Former chief-of-staff Tony Baker went on to work for Sandy Hook Promise on Esty’s recommendation, after allegedly punching and screaming at a female staffer in Esty’s office
‘I am sorry that I failed to protect her and provide her with the safe and respectful work environment that every employee deserves. I am sorry that I hurt her, her friends, family, and co-workers, and many of my present and former staffers,’ she continued.
She says she launched an internal review and learned ‘the threat of violence was not an isolated incident’ in her office.
Esty’s current chief of staff Timothy Daly says the Democratic congresswoman on Thursday also personally repaid the federal government $5,000 in severance paid to now-fired Baker.
Daly says Esty was advised to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Baker but now believes it’s moot.
The controversy over Esty’s handling of Baker’s dismissal was first reported Thursday by the Connecticut Post.