Republican New York Rep. Tom Reed has been accused of sexually harassing a former insurance lobbyist in 2017, The Washington Post first reported Friday.
Nicolette Davis, currently an Army second lieutenant in Oklahoma, told the Post that Reed drunkenly came onto her at an Irish pub in Minnesota, alleging that he moved his hand up her thigh and then unhooked her bra strap. She said a person sitting nearby escorted the drunk congressman out of the pub after she asked for help.
Former lobbyist accuses Rep. Tom Reed, a potential Cuomo challenger, of sexual misconduct https://t.co/4mh8XpTQEQ
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 19, 2021
Davis said the interaction occurred during a weekend ice fishing trip at Lake Minnetonka in January 2017 to benefit the campaign committee of then-Republican Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen. Davis further said Reed appeared intoxicated during the fishing trip and even slipped and fell on the ice at one point.
“I was also angry,” she told the Post. “I had wanted to go on this trip so badly but at that time, it didn’t matter that I had been working hard or that I had a master’s degree. All that mattered was that I was a warm female body.”
The sexual misconduct allegations come after Reed said in a Fox News interview Feb. 21 that he was “seriously considering” a run against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who himself is facing calls to resign and a potential impeachment inquiry after multiple women recently accused him of sexual misconduct. (RELATED: Here’s What Impeachment Looks Like For Cuomo — And Who Would Replace Him)
Davis contacted the Post through a newsroom tip line Feb. 11 but said her decision to go forward with the allegations was not motivated by the congressman’s potential gubernatorial bid.
“This account of my actions is not accurate,” Reed said in a statement after the Post sent him a list of questions. He has not offered a public response to the allegations and on Friday referred reporters at the Capitol to his prior statement to the Post.
Reed is one of the New York lawmakers calling for Cuomo’s resignation, joining high-profile Democratic figures like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Reed slammed the governor in a statement after allegations against him were made public in February, WKBW reported.
“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,” he said. “Such behavior is disturbing and unacceptable.”
Reed notably has been a proponent of legislation to address sexual harassment and women’s rights. He supported a resolution in 2017 requiring lawmakers and their staff to undergo sexual harassment prevention training. Reed was also one of 29 Republicans to vote this week in favor of renewing the Violence Against Women Act.
“I stand by my record.” he said in a statement to the Post.