There were new developments Tuesday in the sexual misconduct scandal involving Rep. Tom Reed, including a former Trump administration official asking the House Ethics Committee to open an investigation into the incident.
Also, Chemung County Executive Chris Moss, a former sheriff, expressed interest in running for congress next year, the Elmira Star-Gazette reported.
Michael Caputo of East Aurora, former assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, told the Bufalo News he has submitted a complaint to the House committee regarding Reed’s admitted sexual misconduct involving a former lobbyist in 2017 in a Minneapolis pub.
Reed issued an apology to the woman, Nicholette Davis, his family, constituents and supporters on Sunday, two days after The Washington Post published Davis’ account of the incident.
Davis said Reed, who she said had been drinking, placed his hand on her back, unhooked her bra through her blouse and put his hand on her thigh before being ushered out of the pub by someone at their table.
Caputo said he filed the complaint on behalf of the people of the 23rd Congressional District, even though he is not a resident of the 23rd.
The congressman’s press office did not reply Tuesday to a request for Reed’s reaction to Caputo’s request for an investigation.
Reed also stated Sunday he would not be running for re-election to the 23rd seat or announce his candidacy for governor, as had been expected.
Caputo said after hearing Republicans, including Reed, call for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation over several incidents involving alleged sexual harassment, he felt Reed, too, should be investigated, even if they are members of the same party.
“I want Reed to face justice,” Caputo told the News. “If we expect Gov. Cuomo to stand for an investigation, then certainly Rep. Tim Reed should, too. He gets to serve 20 more months in Congress without answering to what he did?”
Cattaraugus County Republican Party Chairman Robert C. Keis Sr. said Monday that a possible House Ethics Committee investigation of Reed might be avoided if Davis accepted Reed’s apology. Keis predicted “there would be some talk in the House” over how to handle the incident.
In his apology, Reed blamed his action on an addiction to alcohol, for which he sought treatment in 2017.
Moss, who had intended to run for a second term as Chemung County executive next year, said he would consider running for Congress if the 23rd District “still existed.”
The former Chemung County sheriff was the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino in 2014. Moss said he had no timetable for making a decision, but would wait to see what the new district looks like.
Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda, said Reed had done the right thing by apologizing and taking himself out of running for office next year.
Giglio did not think Reed should resign, but did not address the possibility the Republican congressman could face investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Giglio also said he would consider running for Congress if district lines remained much as they are. As drawn, Republicans enjoy a substantial advantage in the number of voters in the 23rd district.
In February, there were 167,806 registered Republicans, 140,687 Democrats and 116,598 blanks, which indicate the residents are not registered with any political party. There were a total of 441,508 registered voters in the 11-county district.
New York state redraws congressional district lines every 10 years based on new U.S. census data. That data is late in being analyzed this cycle and the numbers will not be available for several months.
Keis, the Cattaraugus County GOP leader, said that could delay state legislative approval of new district lines until next February. On top of that, New York is looking at losing up to two congressional seats.
With Reed not running for re-election and the lines of the district unknown, Keis is afraid candidates will have very little time to become better known across the region to raise campaign funds.
Keis and other Republican officials prefer the district retain its east-west configuration across the Southern Tier that was championed 21 years ago by the late Rep. Amo Houghton, a Republican of Corning, when it was the 29th Congressional District.
There are now 27 New York congressional seats.