The House of Representatives Ethics Committee has launched an investigation into Republican Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), who was accused of sexual misconduct by a former lobbyist last month, the committee’s leadership announced Friday afternoon.
The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Tom Reed may have engaged in sexual misconduct, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct. The Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding the allegations.
The Committee notes that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee. No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.
The statement comes several weeks after Nicolette Davis, 29, accused Reed of putting his hands on her back and unhooking her bra during a 2017 outing at a pub with other lobbyists. The Washington Post, which first reported on the allegation, cited another person at the table on the condition of anonymity as confirming that Reed had put his hand on Davis’ back and was then escorted from the table. The person claimed Reed was visibly intoxicated.
In an initial statement to The Washington Post, Reed responded to the allegation through his office by saying: “This account of my actions is not accurate.” Several days later, he publicly apologized to Davis and said his personal depiction of the event was irrelevant.
“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,” said Reed in a statement obtained by POLITICO.
“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,” he said.
Reed, who will not be seeking re-election, also said that he planned to make amends for actions in his past and help others struggling with addiction. “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,” said Reed.
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