BUFFALO, N.Y. — Republican Congressman Tom Reed is apologizing to a woman accusing him of sexual misconduct.
The New York lawmaker also said he will not be running for any public office in 2022.
Rep. Reed, who represents a large part of western New York, is accused of groping a former lobbyist at an Irish pub in Minneapolis.
The Washington Post spoke to the accuser, Nicolette Davis, about what she said happened several years ago. She said Reed massaged her, unclipped her bra and put his hand on her thigh. Davis said she was 25 years old at the time.
Reed originally said in a statement that the allegations are not accurate, but Sunday night, his office issued the following statement, offering an apology.
“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.”
Tom Reed further announced Sunday that he will not be running for any elected office in 2022. When Reed was first elected to Congress in 2010, he pledged to voters to only serve six terms (12 years) and therefore will be retiring from public service on January 2, 2023.
Reed is among the New York lawmakers who have called for Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign or be impeached following harassment allegations from several women. Cuomo has repeatedly said he won’t step down.
This story was originally published by staff at WKBW.