New York Republican Rep. Tom Reed apologized Sunday for inappropriate behavior towards a lobbyist in 2017 and said that he would not run for any elected office at the end of his term.
While Reed, the co-chair of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, had previously said that he would serve only a maximum of six terms before retiring, he had also expressed interest in running against embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2022.
Reed’s decision follows a report from The Washington Post Friday where lobbyist Nicolette Davis alleged that the congressman, while drunk, touched her back, unhooked the clasp on a bra, and “inched” his hand up her thigh while in a Minneapolis pub in 2017.
“A drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” Davis texted a friend that evening, according to the Post, adding later, “HELP HELP.”
Reed originally said that her statement was “not accurate,” but said Sunday that he took “full responsibility” for his actions. (RELATED: Biden: Cuomo Should Resign If Sexual Misconduct Allegations Are Confirmed)
“I apologize to Nicolette Davis. Even though I am only hearing of this matter as stated by Ms. Davis in the article now, I hear her voice and will not dismiss her,” Reed said. “Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry, and I take full responsibility. I further apologize to my wife and kids, my family, the people of the 23rd District, my colleagues, and those who have supported me for the harm this caused them.”
Reed also said that he was an alcoholic at the time and had entered treatment that year.
“I want to share that this occurred at a time in my life in which I was struggling. Upon entering treatment in 2017, I recognized that I am powerless over alcohol,” Reed said. “I am now approaching four years of that personal lifelong journey of recovery. With the support of my wife, kids and loved ones, professional help, and trust in a higher power, I continue that journey day-by-day. This is in no way an excuse for anything I’ve done. Consistent with my recovery, I publicly take ownership of my past actions, offer this amends and humbly apologize again to Ms. Davis, my wife and kids, loved ones, and to all of you.”
Reed said that he would go forward with the goal of making amends for his past decisions, and encouraged those also struggling to seek help.
“I plan to dedicate my time and attention to making amends for my past actions,” Reed said. “To others who may be struggling the way I have, please know that by seeking help your life will be forever changed in an extremely positive way. Though the journey is hard please know the rewards are amazing and you are worth it.”
“As I go forward,” he added, “I will strive to be a better human being, continue to fight for what I believe in, and to make people’s lives better in any way I can. I hope this formal apology is just the start.”
My statement— pic.twitter.com/WCyvxjjZo5
— Tom Reed (@TomReedCongress) March 21, 2021
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