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U.S. Representative Tom Reed accused of sexual misconduct -Washington Post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Representative Tom Reed, who has been mulling a challenge to Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has been accused of sexual misconduct by a former insurance company lobbyist, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) co-chair with the Problem Solvers Caucus and other members speaks at a news conference on the forthcoming passage of the bipartisan emergency COVID-19 relief bill in Washington, D.C., U.S., December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno

Nicolette Davis, who now serves in the U.S. military, told the newspaper that in 2017 Reed inappropriately placed his hand on her during a “networking trip” in Minneapolis.

“A drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” the newspaper quoted Davis texting a co-worker at the time. “HELP HELP.”

“This account of my actions is not accurate,” Reed said in a statement, declining to answer further questions.

Davis could not be reached for immediate comment.

Cuomo, who would be up for re-election in November 2022, is under increasing pressure to resign following a series of allegations of sexual misconduct and that he had concealed the number of New York state nursing home deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investigations into those allegations are ongoing.

Reed, 49, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and has gained a reputation of being a moderate Republican willing to work with Democrats on some issues.

He is a member of the “Problem Solvers Caucus” that late last year played a role in the crafting of an emergency relief package to address the pandemic.

(This story removes extraneous word in second paragraph)

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Richard Chang