In recent weeks, New York voters have been bombarded with headlines about sexual misconduct allegations against elected officials in their state, though the ways in which the accused parties have responded has been an enlightening study in contrasts.
According to Fox News, Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) announced on Sunday that he would not seek re-election to his seat in Congress, nor would he run for governor in 2022 amid allegations of past sexual misconduct toward a female lobbyist.
Reed’s decision followed a report in the Washington Post in which former lobbyist Nicolette Davis claimed that the congressman subjected her to inappropriate physical contact at a bar in Minnesota four years ago, according to The Hill.
In his official statement, Reed formally apologized to Reed, stating, “I hear her voice and will not dismiss her,” adding:
In reflection, my personal depiction of this event is irrelevant. Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong. I am sorry, and I take full responsibility.
Reed also indicated that the events in question happened during a period in his life when he was battling alcohol addiction, and that “in addition to apologizing to those I have impacted, including Ms. Davis, I will be seeking to help those wrestling with addition in any way I can.”
The congressman from upstate New York made it clear that he would not seek election to any political office in 2022, despite remarks in February that seemed to tease a possible challenge to embattled Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo in which Reed said:
Governor Cuomo: Your days are numbered. There’s leadership coming to Albany very soon.
Reed’s decision to retire from public life once his current term ends in January of 2023 stands in stark contrast from Cuomo’s stubborn refusal to step down amid claims of sexual misconduct that are far more detailed and voluminous than those lodged against the congressman.
Just last week, an eighth accuser stepped forward to accuse Cuomo of inappropriate behavior, adding to the mounting pressure on the governor to resign. In addition to a lengthy list of New York lawmakers who have demanded his departure, even President Joe Biden weighed in last week to declare that if claims against Cuomo are borne out by a pending investigation, not only should he step down, but that “he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too.”
Perhaps it is high time that Cuomo reads the writing on the wall and follows Rep. Reed’s example of personal responsibility and professional accountability.