Republican lawmaker announces resignation from Congress following sexual misconduct claims
Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) announced on Tuesday that he is resigning from Congress, more than one year after a former lobbyist accused the congressman of sexual misconduct.
“After almost 12 years in Congress, today is my last day,” Reed said in remarks on the House floor. “It has been an honor to serve with you all from both parties. I love this institution, as it still exemplifies what is best about our government. We are the people’s House.”
Nicolette Davis, a former lobbyist, told The Washington Post in a story published last March that Reed had sexually harassed her four years earlier. The New York Republican apologized to Davis in a lengthy statement that month but said he had just learned about the alleged incident in the newspaper article.
In that same statement, the congressman said he would not seek any elected office in 2022.
Punchbowl News, which first reported on Reed’s resignation, said Reed is joining Prime Policy Group, a bipartisan government relations and public affairs firm in Washington, D.C.
“I humbly bid farewell, and submit my resignation as a member of the House. And I wish you all Godspeed,” Reed said on the House floor.
Davis told the Post last year that Reed rubbed her back and thigh and unhooked her bra when the two were at an Irish bar in Minnesota. Davis at the time was a lobbyist for an insurance company.
Davis said she asked the person sitting beside her for help, which prompted him to take the congressman away from the table and bring him outside the restaurant, according to the Post.
Reed took responsibility in his statement last year.
“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,” Reed said.
“Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry, and I take full responsibility,” he added.
The congressman said the alleged 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. I am now approaching four years of that personal lifelong journey of recovery,” he added.
Reed did not mention the sexual misconduct claims in his resignation announcement on Tuesday. He did, however, say he believes “there’s much more to do,” pointing to extremism and “petty political posturing.”
“I am leaving to continue that work and hope to have a greater impact on our country. I believe the current focus on extremism demands us to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln, uttered years ago as we face a similar threat to our existence today. A house divided cannot stand, but I add, a house united will not fail,” Reed said.
“It is time for petty political posturing to end. Leadership must emerge, and in God I trust, his divine protection will extend again if only we acknowledge and accept his love, and the divine spark that exists in each of us as citizens of our great nation,” he added.
Reed was first elected to the House in 2010.
Updated at 3:14 p.m.