by Mary Margaret Olohan
The nation’s largest LGBTQ rights advocacy group has fired its president for advising Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the #METOO allegations against the governor.
The two Human Rights Campaign (HRC) boards terminated Alphonso David “for cause” Monday evening, The New York Times reported. David called his termination unjust in a Monday evening statement and accused the HRC board of lying to him about its investigation.
“As a black, gay man who has spent his whole life fighting for civil and human rights, they cannot shut me up,” he said. “Expect a legal challenge.”
Update from Alphonso David pic.twitter.com/PAtqcEwvBg
— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) September 7, 2021
The organization had announced in early August that it had retained Sidley Austin LLP to conduct an internal investigation into David’s actions following news that an investigation into the New York governor found Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of State employees through unwelcome and unwanted touching, as well as by making numerous offensive and sexually suggestive comments.”
In a Monday afternoon statement, David criticized the HRC boards for suggesting that he resign and for failing to release their internal report. He demanded that HRC release the Sidley Austin report and said he had communicated this demand to the HRC through his attorneys.
“Their refusal to offer up the findings, even with the indication that they found no evidence of wrongdoing, and yet still urge me to consider resigning during a holiday weekend to avoid media interest, does disservice to any persons or organizations involved in the fight for civil and human rights,” he said.
“We need to end this bullying and a cloak and dagger process that disrespects what we agreed to and that now has the co-chairs scrambling, trying to backpedal and recreate truths.”
I know @AlphonsoDavid .. He has alway fought for justice. He is also a wonderful human being. Why after an internal review which clears Alphonso would anyone ask for his resignation. https://t.co/7pwNyWBkpf
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) September 5, 2021
David provided confidential files on Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan to senior Cuomo advisers, participated in the drafting of a letter discrediting Boylan and sought out women to provide positive statements about the governor, according to a report on the investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office.
He also reportedly kept confidential files “relating to his investigation into and counseling” of Boylan before she left the executive chamber, according to the report, which said David provided these files to Cuomo senior adviser Richard Azzopardi on Dec. 11, 2020, shortly after Boylan began tweeting about Cuomo.
“Mr. David testified that he kept with him a copy of Ms. Boylan’s files because it ‘may have been the only instance where [he] was actually involved in a counseling of an employee when [he] was in the Executive Chamber,’” the report said.
Former senior Cuomo adviser Melissa DeRosa told other staffers in a Dec. 16, 2020 text message that David had agreed to sign a letter attempting to discredit Boylan “if we need him,” according to the report. The report said that David had initially declined to sign the letter (which was ultimately not published).
“The various drafts of this letter included complaints against Ms. Boylan that were part of the Confidential Files,” the report said. “The drafts also discussed alleged interactions between Ms. Boylan and male colleagues other than the Governor.”
The report also said that the letter “denied the legitimacy of Ms. Boylan’s allegations, impugned her credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated (including with theories about connections with supporters of President Trump and a politician with an alleged interest in running for Governor).”
The HRC has not responded to multiple requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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Mary Margaret Olohan is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Alphonso David” by Nicholas Cardamone. CC BY-SA 3.0.