An Army second lieutenant has accused Rep. Tom Reed of sexually harassing her in 2017 when she was working as an insurance lobbyist, the Washington Post reported Friday.
Nicolette Davis said that the Republican congressman drunkenly came onto her in an Irish pub, and she alleged that he placed his hand on her thigh and unhooked her bra strap. A person seated nearby helped escort Reed out of the Minneapolis restaurant after she sought help separating herself from the New York congressman.
The two were in town as part of a weekend excursion to benefit former Rep. Erik Paulsen’s campaign, and she said she had only briefly met the congressman earlier in the trip.
Reed, who reportedly declined to be interviewed for the story, has denied the allegation.
“This account of my actions is not accurate,” Reed said in a statement to the Washington Post. Reed referred reporters in the Capitol Friday to his prior statement.
According to the Post, Davis reached out via the newspaper’s tipline in mid-February and prior to Reed telling Fox News that he is mulling a run for governor. She said she was inspired to come forward as she takes on a leadership role in the Army.
“I need to always act in good conscience and set the right example for the soldiers I will lead, including younger females,” she told the Post. “I hope it will allow people who have endured similar experiences to feel confident enough to say something.”
The article states that Davis’ account of Reed’s conduct that night was backed up by another person at the table and quotes coworkers Davis spoke to during and shortly after the alleged incident.
Reed has recently spoken out against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is facing a suite of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct from at least six women, including several who worked for the Executive Chamber.
“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,” Reed said in February. “Such behavior is disturbing and unacceptable.”
The embattled governor is stiff-arming calls for him to step down, even as he has lost the confidence of both of the state’s U.S. senators and nearly every member of the New York congressional delegation.
He is also staring down ongoing investigations by federal authorities, the state attorney general and the Assembly Judiciary committee. The subjects being probed include the recent sexual harassment allegations, the Cuomo administration’s handling of Covid-related nursing home resident deaths, and its management of a high-profile bridge project the governor had named after his late father, Mario Cuomo.
While in Congress, Reed has supported efforts to combat sexual harassment and other misconduct, including a resolution requiring House members and their staff to take anti-sexual harassment training.
He has also called for Cuomo to be impeached and, along with fellow GOP Reps. Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin, has been discussed as a potential challenger to the three-term governor as his popularity sags amid the multifront controversies.
Davis told the Post that her decision to come forward against Reed was not politically motivated.