March 22 (UPI) — New York Republican Rep. Tom Reed issued an apology Sunday to the woman who accused him of sexual misconduct, stating he will not seek political office in 2022.
In a statement, Reed apologized to Nicolette Davis, who accused him in an article published Friday by The Washington Post of unsolicited sexual contact in 2017.
“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,” he said.
Davis, a former lobbyist for an insurance company, accused the 49-year-old congressman in the article of rubbing her back when she was 25 years old during a gathering at a Minneapolis Irish pub following a day of ice fishing.
She texted a friend and co-worker that “[a] drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” adding later, “HELP HELP.”
According to The Washington Post, Davis said Reed was intoxicated and with his hand outside her blouse unclasped her bra. Frightened, she asked the person sitting next to her for help, who then pulled Reed from the table and then from the restaurant.
Reed responded in a statement to the allegation that “the account of my actions is not accurate,” before issuing the apology on Sunday, stating “my personal depiction of this event is irrelevant. Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional.”
He said the incident occurred during a time in his life when he was “struggling” with alcohol addiction, for which he entered treatment that year.
Davis’ allegation was published as Reed has been signaling for months he may run for governor against incumbent Andrew Cuomo who has come under increasing pressure to resign over a series of sexual misconduct allegations.
Reed’s statement said he would not be running for any office in 2020 and that he will be retiring from public service on Jan. 2, 2023.