Outgoing Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says she regrets not acting sooner on a harassment case involving a female employee and Esty’s former chief of staff, Tony Baker.
Esty fired Baker in 2016, but paid him a severance and gave him a job recommendation. The decision took months and drew widespread criticism after the details became public.
Esty, who represents the fifth district, spoke on Connecticut Public Radio’s Where We Live.
“I regret that it took so long,” Esty said. “I mostly regret that it ever happened. And that I didn’t know about it at the time -- and could have stopped it, dead in its tracks, back in 2014. I did the best I could, imperfectly, in 2016. But we see the world very differently now.”
Last week, Congress passed an overhaul of its sexual harassment policies.
The so-called “MeToo” legislation reforms the processes and updates protections for staff looking to report harassment.
The Associated Press reports President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill.
In April, Esty announced she wouldn’t seek re-election because of criticism of her handling of the harassment case.
She’ll be replaced in the fifth district by fellow Democrat Jahana Hayes, a former national teacher of the year.