A New York representative, who was considering challenging embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo for governor, said he'll retire after his current term and takes "full responsibility" for his actions following sexual misconduct allegations by a former lobbyist dating back to a 2017 trip to Minneapolis.
Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, in a statement Sunday night about the incident during a "political trip" to Minnesota, apologized to Nicollette Davis and admitted his behavior "caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional."
Davis, a commissioned officer for the U.S. Army, told the Washington Post last week that when she was 25 and on a networking trip to Minnesota as a junior lobbyist, she and other lobbyists were gathered at an Irish pub in Minneapolis following a day of ice fishing when Reed, then 45 and drunk, rubbed her back, unclipped her bra from outside her blouse and rubbed her thigh.
She texted a friend saying a drunk congressman was rubbing her back, and then she asked the person sitting on the other side of her for help. They escorted Reed from the table and the pub, she told the paper.
Reed, who initially denied the allegations, CNN reports, said in his statement that his account of what happened didn't matter but said it happened at a time in his life when he was "struggling." He said he learned after entering alcohol treatment in 2017 that he's "powerless over alcohol" and he's approaching four years on his journey with recovery but added alcohol isn't an excuse for what he did.
To conclude his statement, Reed said he won't be seeking any elected office in 2022 when his term expires. When he was first elected, he said he wouldn't seek more than 12 years (six terms) and would be retiring after his term ends on Jan. 2, 2023.
Davis, who is now 29, contacted the Washington Post on Feb. 11 about Reed, which was before he said he was considering a run against Gov. Cuomo, a Democrat.
Many people are calling on Cuomo to resign after multiple women have accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. Reed said combating sexual violence and harassment is one of his priorities and expressed support in Cuomo being impeached.