rep tom reed sexual assault allegation
Rep. Tom Reed.

Ken Cedeno/Reuters

  • Reed has apologized after a sexual-harassment accusation from a former lobbyist, Nicolette Davis.
  • He also said he would neither run for reelection for his congressional seat nor run for NY governor
  • Reed said he had been struggling with alcohol dependency at the time of the accusation.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Republican Rep. Tom Reed has apologized following an allegation of sexual misconduct, and said that he will not run for office again.

Reed, who represents New York's 23rd congressional district, had already promised in 2010 to serve for a maximum of six terms, ending in 2022. But in February, he told Fox News that he was "seriously considering" a challenge to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

On Friday, The Washington Post published the allegations of Army lieutenant and former lobbyist Nicolette Davis dating back to 2017. She said that Reed had drunkenly touched her inappropriately at a bar in Minneapolis. She said he had put his hand under her shirt, unhooked her bra, and put his other hand on her thigh.

Reed denied the accusations when the report came out, saying: "This account of my actions is not accurate."

But in a statement Sunday, the congressman apologized for his conduct and said that his current term would be his last. He also said he would no longer run for New York governor, The Post reported Sunday.

"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's statement said.

"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."

Here's a copy of the statement, via USA Today Network New York reporter Jon Campbell:

Reed further apologized to his family, colleagues, supporters, and constituents.

Reed has long styled himself as a champion of women's and LGBTQ rights. Most recently, he joined Democratic lawmakers in voting to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and called for the removal of barriers to the certifying of the Equal Rights Amendment.

The accusation has come at a time when his potential rival, Cuomo, is also facing mounting sexual-harassment allegations. Cuomo denies the allegations.

After a second Cuomo aide alleged harassment in February, Reed said: "These incidents of sexual harassment and pattern of abuse are abhorrent and have absolutely no place in our society, let alone the highest rungs of government. Such behavior is disturbing and unacceptable," according to The Washington Post.

In his Sunday apology, Reed added that the incident took place "at a time in my life in which I was struggling. Upon entering treatment in 2017, I recognized that I am powerless over alcohol," he wrote.

"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."

"This is in no way an excuse for anything I've done," he added. He has since sought treatment, the statement said.

Davis told The Post that she accepted his apology. "I am grateful for Congressman Reed's reflection on his actions," she said. "I accept his apology. I hope that his words and actions will be an example for others who face similar allegations."

Neither Reed nor Cuomo immediately responded to Insider's request for comment.

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