Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty breaks her silence over staffing abuse claim

WASHINGTON DC -- Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty broke her silence to FOX61's Jenn Bernstein Tuesday afternoon, speaking out on the controversy surrounding her handling of an abuse claim by a staffer, and her decision to not seek reelection.

The controversy stems from claims made by Anna Kain alleging that in May of 2016 while working for Esty, she reported to the congresswoman and authorities that she had been sexually harassed punched and had her life threatened by Esty’s Chief of Staff, Tony Baker.

Esty allowed Baker to continue working for her until he left his job three months laterwith a recommendation from Esty that led to another job.

Her handling of the situation has prompted calls for her resignation from leaders on both sides of the aisle.

"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," Esty said in a Facebook post.

“She made the right decision,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. “Congresswomen Esty has done a lot of good for Connecticut. And she has fought courageously for some very important causes, but she made the right decision.”

Even fellow DemocratSenator Chris Murphy has been critical.

“The fact of the matter is that she made some bad mistakes in the handling the dismissal of her chief of staff,” Murphy said. “She’d acknowledges that.”

“I think a lot of her constituents have questions about how this was handled,” Murphy said.

However, even Blumenthal thinks it may be a good idea.

“Eventually she’s going to have to give a more public and full explanation,” he said.