Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) on Sunday night apologized to a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct and announced he will not be running for office next year after stating last month he was mulling an electoral challenge against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who is himself facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Reed apologized to the woman, former lobbyist Nicolette Davis, adding that he hears her voice and “will not dismiss her.”
After previously calling the allegation “inaccurate,” the congressman said upon reflection his “personal depiction of this event is irrelevant.”
Reed announced he will not run for “any elected office” in 2022 and will retire in January 2023 upon the completion of his current congressional term.
The congressman said that the incident occurred at a time in his life when he was “struggling” and entered treatment that year and realized he was “powerless over alcohol.”
Reed also apologized to his wife and children and said he plans to dedicate his time and attention “to making amends for my past actions.”
Last week, the Washington Post reported allegations from Davis who said Reed had unhooked her bra from outside her blouse and moved his hand to her thigh without her consent at a Minneapolis bar in 2017. Davis, who at the time worked as a lobbyist for insurer Aflac, then texted a co-worker, “A drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” followed by “HELP HELP.” According to the Post, Davis had contacted its newsroom tip line more than a week before Reed appeared on Fox News to announce he was seriously considering a gubernatorial run against Andrew Cuomo if he runs for re-election in 2022.
The embattled New York governor is facing an impeachment inquiry and calls to resign after several women, including former aides, have come forward and accused him of sexual misconduct. Reed called the accusations against Cuomo “disturbing and unacceptable,” adding that the governor must be “held accountable.” “These incidents of sexual harassment and pattern of abuse are abhorrent and have absolutely no place in our society, let alone the highest rungs of government,” Reed said.
‘Sorry’: GOP US Rep. Tom Reed retiring amid misconduct claim (Associated Press)