CORNING, N.Y. (WETM/WIVB) — Two days after being accused of sexual misconduct, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed announced he will not seek any elected office when his term ends in 2022 and offered an apology to his accuser.
Reed apologizing after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged on Friday in the Washington Post from former lobbyist Nicolette Davis. Davis alleged that while in a Minneapolis bar in 2017, Reed “briefly fumbled with her bra before unhooking it by pinching the clasp” and moving “his hand to her thigh.”
Reed’s apology explained that accountability is an important component of his recovery plan, revealing a years-long struggle with alcohol. He said he took full responsibility for his behavior and the alleged incident Ms. Davis describes, mentioning a lack of self-control and a feeling of “powerlessness.”
The Republican Congressman and former mayor of Corning explicitly ruled out a run for governor, which he’d long hinted was a possibility. He also said he will not seek reelection in 2022. Reed, a multi-term representative in Congress, previously announced that he would not seek re-election in 2022 if he had run for governor.
While in Congress, Reed has served on the Ways and Means Committee and chairs the Problem Solvers Caucus. He has been a constant critic of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, highlighting the governor’s own sexual harassment scandal and the handling of the state’s nursing home patients during the COVID pandemic.
Reed released the following statement on Sunday evening saying that during the time of the trip he was battling alcoholism:
“First, 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. In reflection, my 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. 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.
Second, 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. 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.
Third, I plan to dedicate my time and attention to making amends for my past actions. In addition to apologizing to those I have impacted, including Ms. Davis, I will be seeking to help those wrestling with addiction in any way I can. 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, 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.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was asked about the allegations on Friday and said she needed to research the accusations more.
NEWS10’s Elmira sister station reached out to Reed’s office for additional comment but have not heard back. The U.S. House Ethics Committee did not have any comment on Friday when asked about the allegations. Neither House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, nor Sen. Chuck Schumer responded to requests for comment.
In 2020, Reed was elected to his fourth term in Congress representing the 23rd Congressional District, receiving 181,060 (57.7%) over Democrat Tracy Mitrano in a rematch of their 2018 race.
Prior to being elected to Congress in 2010, Reed served as the Mayor of Corning and is a graduate of Horseheads High School and Alfred University.