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DISTRICT 23 Reed’s response quick, to the point

The OBSERVER's View

It would have been easy for Rep. Tom Reed to have asked for an investigation into his conduct nearly four years ago in a Minnesota bar.

Reed did not do so, however, instead announcing Sunday that he will retire from elected politics when his term ends at the end of next year. While there can be debate over whether or not Reed should serve out the rest of his term, Sunday’s statement was a welcome change from his statement Friday that, “This account of my actions is not accurate.”

It was the right thing to do Sunday, then, for Reed to apologize to Davis for his behavior. While it would have been better for that apology to have come Friday when the news broke, we note many politicians in recent weeks have tried to discredit victims while waiting for investigations before determining a course of action. Some apologies, like those from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have come across as half-hearted by avoiding wrongdoing and instead apologizing for the way actions made others feel.

Reed in no way, shape or form blamed Nicolette Davis for what happened on the lobbying trip to Minnesota.

“Even though I am only hearing of this matter as stated by Ms. Davis in the article now, I hear her voice and will not dismiss her. 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 canceled a town hall meeting in Ashville on Monday. If he is going to serve out his term, he will have to attend these public meetings no matter how uncomfortable they are. Reed cannot go into hiding, nor can he avoid the slings and arrows that will come from the public. If he tries to do so, he should retire now rather 20 months from now — because a representative in hiding is no representative at all.

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