Representative Tom Reed, Republican of New York, on Friday disputed the accuracy of a information report detailing the allegations of a former lobbyist who stated he touched her inappropriately throughout a weekend political journey in 2017.
The lady, Nicolette Davis, told The Washington Post that she was a 25-year-old lobbyist for the insurance coverage firm Aflac when Mr. Reed groped her at an Irish pub in Minneapolis after a day of ice fishing with donors, politicians and lobbyists. The congressman was drunk, she stated, and whereas sitting on the bar, he positioned his hand on her again, unclasped her bra by way of her shirt and moved his hand up her thigh earlier than Ms. Davis requested the person sitting subsequent to her to intervene.
Mr. Reed, 49, who has served within the House since 2010 and is now mulling a run for governor in New York, declined to debate the allegation with reporters within the Capitol on Friday. In an announcement, he stated that the “account of my actions is not accurate,” however he didn’t elaborate or deny the encounter outright. His spokesman didn’t reply to detailed follow-up questions, together with what particular allegations the congressman disputed.
Ms. Davis, who’s now a second lieutenant within the Army, couldn’t be reached. She informed The Post that although she was a lifelong Democrat, it was her “conscience” and need to set an instance for others that had led her to share her story publicly.
Jon A. Sullivan, a spokesman for Aflac, confirmed on Friday that Ms. Davis despatched a textual content message to one of many her colleagues asking for “HELP” as Mr. Reed was rubbing her again. She additionally reported the episode to a different colleague shortly after it occurred, he stated.
“When this matter was reported to senior leadership and colleagues who were not present at the event, we immediately provided support and counsel for Nicolette, enabling her to determine personally how she wanted to proceed with regard to bringing this deeply troubling experience to light,” he stated in an emailed assertion. “Nicolette continues to have 100 percent support from Aflac, as we strongly condemn any form of abuse or harassment.”
The Post stated that Ms. Davis contacted the paper by way of its tip line in mid-February. The paper additionally spoke to an individual who stated they’d witnessed a visibly drunk Mr. Reed put his hand on Ms. Davis’s again, describing the account on situation of anonymity.
Ms. Davis additionally extra lately reported the incident to the Army, which referred it to police in Minneapolis. Cynthia O Smith, an Army spokeswoman, directed a reporter to town’s police division, which declined to remark.
Mr. Reed told Fox News in February that he was “seriously considering” a run for governor in 2022. He has been an outspoken critic of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, calling for the Democrat to resign or be impeached amid a wave of accusations of sexual harassment and different misconduct. He referred to as the governor’s conduct “disturbing and unacceptable.”
“I’ve been asked by many people to do this for months because I think they appreciate the way I govern,” Mr. Reed stated in February, earlier than the string of harassment allegations towards Mr. Cuomo. “Not governing by arrogance, bullying like Governor Cuomo does, but trying to bring people together as a proud Republican.”
Mr. Reed is a former mayor of Corning, N.Y., who now represents a big, rural district within the western a part of the state, together with Ithaca and elements of the Finger Lakes. As a pacesetter of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, Mr. Reed has cultivated a status in Washington as a middle-of-the-road Republican desirous to work with Democrats on thorny coverage points.
He has been an vocal proponent of sexual harassment coaching for members of Congress and their staffs, and in 2014, wrote an op-ed for The Huffington Post making an attempt to lift consciousness about sexual assault.
Jennifer Steinhauer contributed reporting.