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Rep. Tom Reed Retiring In Wake of Misconduct Claim

March 22, 2021 by Dan McCue
Rep. Tom Reed Retiring In Wake of Misconduct Claim
FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, file photo, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. Reed, a Republican from western New York who was accused in March 2021 of rubbing a female lobbyist’s back and unhooking her bra without her consent in 2017, apologized to the woman on Sunday, March 21, 2021, and announced that he will not run for reelection in 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., a centrist known for actively seeking to work across the aisle with his Democratic colleagues, announced he will not seek reelection next year after becoming the subject of a misconduct claim.

Reed, who represents a district in western New York, was accused last week of rubbing a female lobbyist’s back and unhooking her bra without her consent in 2017.

On Sunday, Reed released a statement apologizing to then-lobbyist Nicolette Davis, and said the incident occurred “at a time in my life in which I was struggling.”

He said he entered treatment later that year after realizing he was “powerless over alcohol.”

Reed also apologized to his wife and children and said he planned “to dedicate my time and attention to making amends for my past actions.”

Reed, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, is co-chair of the House of Representatives’ bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. He won his sixth term in Congress in November by 16 percentage points.

In announcing his decision not to seek re-election to the House, Reed also quashed any chance of his running for New York State governor in 2022.

Reed had been among the members of Congress calling for the resignation of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo over sexual harassment allegations.

But then came a report in The Washington Post Friday of Davis’s allegations.

In 2017, Davis was a 25-year-old lobbyist for the insurer Aflac. 

She said Reed sat next to her in a Minneapolis bar, unhooked her bra from outside her blouse and moved his hand to her thigh.

“A drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” she texted a co-worker at Aflac that evening, adding later, “HELP HELP.”

Reed initially pushed back against the account, saying the description of his actions was “not accurate.”

He described a trip to Minnesota to go ice fishing, followed by drinks at an Irish bar.

But on Sunday, Reed said he realized his “personal depiction of this event is irrelevant.”

“Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry, and I take full responsibility.” Reed said.

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