By Peter Hassan
Democratic Connecticut Rep. Elizabeth Esty kept her chief of staff on the job for three months after he was accused of punching and threatening to kill a female staffer, and then recommended him for his next job, according to several new reports.
Esty’s former chief of staff, Tony Baker, allegedly abused and sexually harassed the female staffer over a period of several years, culminating in a May 2016 threat to kill the female staffer, whom the Washington Post identified as Anna Kain.
“You better fucking reply to me or I will fucking kill you,” Baker said in a May 5, 2016 voicemail, a copy of which Kain provided to the Post. Esty found out about the incident within a week, but chose to keep Baker in his paid position for another three months, the Post reported. Esty admitted on Thursday that she “failed to protect” the female staffer from Baker.
Esty’s office gave Baker a $5,000 severance payment when she eventually fired him in July 2016 and she later recommended him for a position at Sandy Hook Promise, the Hartford Courant reported. Baker was dismissed from his position at the nonprofit last week, according to the Post.
The Republican Party’s Connecticut state chair, J.R. Romano, is calling on Esty to resign for keeping Baker in his position and then vouching for him.
“She wrote [Baker] a glowing recommendation and helped him get another job after he was known to be abusive,” Romano told the Courant. “The Democratic Party in this state needs to join me in calling for Elizabeth Esty to resign.”