U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican from western New York, is accused of rubbing a feminine lobbyist’s again and unhooking her bra, with out her consent, at a networking occasion in a Minneapolis pub in 2017.
The lobbyist, Nicolette Davis, told The Washington Post that Reed seemed to be drunk as he pawed her again and leg as the 2 have been seated subsequent to one another throughout a networking journey.
Reed fumbled along with her bra earlier than pinching the clasp by means of her shirt and unhooking it, then moved his hand to her thigh, she stated.
A frightened Davis, who was 25 and on her first journey as a junior lobbyist for insurance coverage firm Aflac, texted a pal and co-worker that “a drunk congressman is rubbing my back.”
“HELP HELP,” she texted, earlier than the individual seated on her different aspect responded to her request by pulling Reed out of the restaurant, in line with her account, printed Friday.
Reed, elected to Congress in 2010, declined to be interviewed by The Associated Press. In a press release launched by his workplace, he stated, “This account of my actions is not accurate.”
Reed has been among the many members of Congress calling for the resignation of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo over sexual harassment allegations. In late February, Reed stated he was critically contemplating working for governor in opposition to Cuomo.
Davis, now a 29-year-old second lieutenant within the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, contacted The Post by means of a tip line Feb. 11, the newspaper stated.
Davis stated she is talking out as she thinks concerning the sort of platoon chief she desires to be after graduating from subject artillery college later this month.
“I need to always act in good conscience and set the right example for the soldiers I will lead, including younger females,” she stated. “I hope it will allow people who have endured similar experiences to feel confident enough to say something.”
Her story was corroborated by the pal whom Davis texted from the restaurant, Jessica Strieter Elting, who runs Aflac’s political affairs crew in Washington, D.C.
Strieter Elting advised The Post that Davis was shaken by the encounter.
“I felt horrible for her, being in that position while trying to do her job,” stated Strieter Elting.
Davis additionally reported the incident, on the time, to her supervisor on the firm, then-vice president and counsel Brad Knox.
Knox stated he recalled Davis telling him that Reed had been consuming and had undone an article of her clothes. He stated she declined when he requested if she wished to file a grievance with the House Ethics Committee.
Reed is a former mayor of Corning, New York. In Congress, he co-chairs the Problem Solvers Caucus, whose 24 Republican and 24 Democratic members meet weekly on points.
In response to the #MeToo motion, Reed stated sexual harassment coaching was a primary requirement in his workplace, and that he had taken it. He additionally backed bipartisan laws in 2018 requiring lawmakers to be personally responsible for settlements ensuing from harassment.
The assertion supplied by Reed’s workplace stated: “I stand by my record.”
Commenting on the allegations in opposition to Cuomo final month, Reed had stated, “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.”
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