WASHINGTON, D.C.—Though he has already announced that he won’t be running for re-election in 2022, Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY23) is under investigation by the House of Representatives Ethics Committee three weeks after he was accused of sexual misconduct.

Reed, a prominent national Republican who was first elected in 2010, was accused by former lobbyist Nicolette Davis of unclasping her bra without her consent (along with other unwanted touching) while the two were at a Minneapolis bar in 2017, allegations that were published in a Washington Post article on March 19, 2021.

In reaction to the allegations, Reed revealed that he had sought treatment for a drinking problem around the time of the incident, apologized to Davis and announced that he would be leaving office, ruling himself out of a widely-speculated challenge to fellow scandal-ridden New York politician Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Tom Reed may have engaged in sexual misconduct, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct,” they wrote in a statement. “The Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding the allegations.”

Rule 18(a) holds that representatives can still be investigated and held accountable for accusations that aren’t made through official House of Representatives complaints or channels.

The committee’s statement continued that the existence of the investigation does not necessarily signify actual guilt on the part of Reed, but that they are looking into the allegation. Reed has said he is retiring from all public service on Jan. 2, 2023, after his term officially ends. Though his statement insists this was always his intention, as he had said he would only serve six terms when he was first elected, he had also heavily indicated that he would run for governor of New York before the allegations surfaced.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com