STEUBEN COUNTY– U.S. Republican Congressman Tom Reed returned to Washington from vacation on Monday to find a big scandal on his doorstep, and a thorough investigation by the House Ethics Committee into his legal activity during the past three years.
Reed’s political opposition alleges that he sues his political constituents for their medical debts, and uses the law firm he started more than 11 years ago to do it. BuffaloNews.com says that Reed became Congressman in 2010, but the firm still operated as “The Law Office of Thomas W. Reed II, PLLC” until 2011, which is expressly against House Ethics rules.
Reed’s District includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tompkins and Yates counties, and parts of Ontario and Tioga Counties.
WENY News reports that Mr. Reed’s political challenger, Martha Robertson, demands that he release all of his correspondence with the House Ethics Committee and explain why his statements contradict the documents. She says that if their allegations are true, voters deserve to know and how much money Reeds and his family have made collecting medical debts from strangers using his name.
According to the Steuben Courier Advocate, Reed’s defense is that he hasn’t practiced law since he took office, and because the firm had about 30 employees as well as real estate holdings, he claims he has not yet been able to legally divest himself from the firm.