Report: Esty waited months to interview allegedly abused employee

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United States Rep. Elizabeth Esty waited two months to interview an employee who said she was abused by a co-worker, according to a new report in the Hartford Courant.

Esty has already announced that she won't run for re-election. Tuesday's Hartford Courant report is prompting renewed calls for her to immediately step down.

Esty admits she took three months to fire her former chief of staff after another employee accused him of hitting her and threatening to kill her. Instead, Esty kept him on the job while she conducted an internal investigation.

MORE: Earlier video coverage

In light of Tuesday’s revelations in the Courant, one progressive blogger says Esty can no longer wait until January to leave office.

"I think as long as Elizabeth Esty continues to have a presence in this position, it's just going to hurt the Democratic party as a whole," Alfonso Robinson told News 12 via FaceTime.

But Gov. Dannel Malloy wouldn't go that far Tuesday.

"I think what she did is the appropriate thing to do," he said. "She was elected to represent that district. She represents it through the last day of her service."

Sacred Heart political analyst Gary Rose says potential candidates who might replace Esty have begun mobilizing. One Democrat is already in the race — two-time lieutenant governor candidate Mary Glassman. State Rep. Michelle Cook is considering a run.

Two other big names, Dante Bartolomeo and Liz Linehan, say they're not interested.

On the GOP side, Meriden's ex-mayor, Manny Santos, was already in the race. And real estate mogul Mark Greenberg may want another shot at the seat. Former U.S. Senate candidate Dan Carter is also considering a run.

But Rose thinks New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart should enter the race, even though she is running for governor.

"Erin has won elections in New Britain," Rose says. "It's a Democratic city and I think she has crossover appeal."

If Esty does resign from her 5th District seat, Malloy would have to call for a special election to fill out the rest of her term. Her district includes Newtown, Danbury and Litchfield County. It's considered to be the state's most competitive congressional district, with a mix of Democrats, Republicans and independents.

Voters' views on Esty in light of the controversy appear mixed. Some of her constituents told News 12 Connecticut that she should indeed step down, while others said they like and still support her. Some said they believe Esty made the right call by announcing that she won't seek re-election.

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