Esty Requests Expedited House Ethics Committee Inquiry into Her Actions Related to Improper Behavior by Her Former Chief of Staff
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) has today formally requested by letter that the House Ethics Committee expeditiously review the circumstances related to her dismissal of her former chief of staff Tony Baker and determine “whether there was any wrongdoing” on her part.
“Although we worked with the House Employment Counsel to investigate and ultimately dismiss this employee for his outrageous behavior with a former staffer, I believe it is important for the House Ethics Committee to conduct its own inquiry into this matter,” said Congresswoman Esty in a statement today. “It certainly was far from a perfect process – and I would appreciate their advice, counsel, and review. I have apologized for my mistakes in the handling of this matter. I feel terribly for the victim of abuse. In seeking this inquiry, I want to clarify whether there was any wrongdoing on my part.”
Specifically, Congresswoman Esty asked that the Ethics Committee “conduct an inquiry into whether I have violated any law, rule, regulation or other standard of conduct applicable to a Member of the House.” Congresswoman Esty also urged the full House to explore whether the rules and procedures for dealing with such matters need to be further revised and strengthened.
The full text of Congresswoman Esty’s letter is available below.
April 2, 2018
The Honorable Susan W. Brooks, Chair
The Honorable Ted Deutch, Ranking Member
Committee on Ethics
1015 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chair Brooks and Ranking Member Deutch:
In May 2016, I learned through a third party of possible misconduct by my then-chief of staff, Tony Baker – and initiated an investigation. I dismissed Mr. Baker upon receiving the investigation report that documented improper behavior on his part, both within my office and outside – particularly in his dealings with a former staffer, Anna Kain, who had worked in my office from January 2013 until March 2015. Questions have now been raised about how this dismissal was handled, and I write to ask for an Ethics Committee review of the circumstances and a determination of whether there was any wrongdoing on my part. I additionally urge the full House to explore whether the rules and procedures for dealing with such matters need to be further revised and strengthened.
In the spirit of transparency, I am therefore requesting, pursuant to Rule 18(c) of the Committee’s Rules, that the Committee conduct an inquiry into whether I have violated any law, rule, regulation or other standard of conduct applicable to a Member of the House. I request that such inquiry and, if warranted, an investigation, be conducted expeditiously and openly, and I pledge the full cooperation of myself and every member of my official and campaign staffs to ensure that the Committee’s inquiry into this matter will be full and complete.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Elizabeth H. Esty
Member of Congress