Portrait of a Hypocrite: An Outspoken Supporter of the #MeToo Movement failed to Protect her female aid from her male Chief of Staff


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“For too long, the culture in Washington has accepted entirely unacceptable behavior,” . “That needs to change — period.” (Novemeber 2017) Elizabeth Esty

 

“You better fucking  reply to me or I will fucking kill you,” Tony Baker (Esty Chief of Staff) said in the May 5, 2016, recording left for Anna Kain, a former Esty aide Baker had once dated.

According to e-mail optained by the Washington Post, the Congresswomen found out about the episode within a week.  She also spoke to Kain on May 11, emails show; Kain said she provided detailed allegations that Baker had punched, berated and sexually harassed her in Esty’s Capitol Hill office throughout 2014, while she worked as Esty’s senior adviser.

Kain and Baker met in Esty’s office following her 2012 election. They dated casually in 2013 before being promoted to senior adviser and chief of staff, respectively, in early 2014.

Baker did not leave for three months. By his last day on Aug. 12, according to documents Esty provided to The Post, he and Esty had co-written a positive recommendation letter he could use in a job search and signed a legal document preventing her from disparaging him or discussing why he left. Baker went on to work for Sandy Hook Promise, the gun-control group created after the 2012 shooting in Esty’s district. He was dismissed from the group this week after The Post contacted him.

Tony Baker received five thousand dollars in severance pay.

According to Kain’s petition for a restraining order, Baker punched her in the back and “repeatedly screamed” at her in Esty’s office while threatening to retaliate professionally if she reported his behavior. She did not tell Esty or the House Ethics Committee out of fear for her safety, her petition stated.

Kain told The Post that she was so anxious about imperiling her boss’s chance of reelection that she removed her cellphone from the House’s WiFi network so that she could privately look up how to report misconduct to the Ethics Committee.

“I was 24 and doing a job that I believed in for an institution I was proud to be a part of,” Kain said Thursday in an interview. “But I was being severely abused and had nowhere to turn. Nobody talked about things like this. I was suffering and thought it was weakness.”

On May 5, 2016, Baker called Kain approximately 50 times and said he would “find her” and “kill her,” she alleged in the petition.

Ricci disputed that Baker punched Kain but did not challenge her other allegations. He said that Baker was too intoxicated at the time to remember leaving the message and that he offered to resign after Esty learned what had happened. The congresswoman said Baker never offered his resignation.

Baker was barred from working out of Esty’s Capitol Hill office starting on July 24, 2016, according to the separation agreement, which required Esty to serve as a reference in his job search outside of Washington. A draft letter of recommendation from Esty that was attached to the agreement praised his “considerable skills.”

Baker accompanied the congresswoman to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28 before sending a departing email to colleagues on Aug. 12.

A spokeswoman for Sandy Hook Promise declined to comment on Baker’s departure this week.

In retrospect, Esty said she dealt with the situation poorly. She said she plans to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for what she described as the roughly $5,000 Baker received in severance. She also plans to improve how she runs her office.

“What I did was not good enough and it didn’t protect [my staff] enough,” Esty said Monday in an interview at her home in Cheshire, Conn. “ . . . I’m hopeful now with this conversation and this coming out that I’ll be able to be much more direct and help other people in Congress understand the risks they are placing their staff at when they don’t think they are.”

Esty said she plans to advocate for greater accountability in how congressional offices are managed.

 

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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