Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced Monday she will not seek re-election this year amid calls for her resignation over her handling of the firing of a former chief of staff accused of harassment and violence against female staffers in her office, the AP reports. The Democrat from Connecticut and an outspoken #MeToo advocate was accused of not protecting female staffers from the ex-chief of staff. Esty has said she regrets not moving along an internal investigation into the allegations, which revealed more widespread allegations of abuse, and regrets providing "even the slightest assistance to this individual as he sought a new job." Esty said she 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."
Her announcement came hours after she asked the House Ethics Committee to review her actions. "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," Esty said in a written statement, acknowledging "it certainly was far from a perfect process." Esty said she wants the committee to "clarify whether there was any wrongdoing" on her part. A lawyer for the committee said he could not comment on Esty's request for an investigation. It's unclear whether an investigative subcommittee will be created or how long the process might take.
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