The Human Rights Council (HRC) fired its president Alphonso David for allegedly helping ex-NY Governor Andrew Cuomo with sex pest claims.
HRC, which is America's largest LGBT advocacy group, terminated David, who served as Cuomo's chief counsel from 2015 to 2019, after conducting an internal investigation into the details revealed in New York State Attorney General Letitia James' bombshell Aug. 3 sexual harassment report.
The Dramatic Firing
"Mr. David engaged in a number of activities in December 2020, while HRC President, to assist Governor Cuomo's team in responding to allegations by Ms. Boylan of sexual harassment. This conduct in assisting Governor Cuomo's team, while president of HRC, was in violation of HRC's Conflict of Interest policy and the mission of HR," the group said in a statement.
Board co-chairs Morgan Cox and Jodie Patterson said that David's conduct had created damage to his reputation significant enough to impair his ability to effectively serve as the public face and voice of the HRC.
David Helped Cuomo Deal with Blowback from Sexual Harassment Claims
David also served as counsel to Cuomo back in September 2018. He was appointed as the HRC's first black president in 2019. His name was mentioned in the AG's report, tied to the claims of harassment by Lindsay Boylan, who was also working for the state government at the time.
According to the AG report, David released a copy of Cuomo-accuser Boylan's personnel files when asked to do so by former top secretary of state, Melissa DeRosa. David had reportedly offered advice to Cuomo on how to handle the blowback.
Two days after the AG report was published HRC staffers called for David's resignation, excoriating his actions in a closed door company meeting, according to New York Post.
David Slammed the HRC and Said the Investigation is Not Yet Completed
David issued a furious rebuttal hours before his firing, claiming he was the victim and that he was being bullied out, reported the Daily Mail. "They didn't offer a shred of evidence of wrongdoing," David said in a statement posted to Twitter. He said the chairs "lied about producing the report" from Sidley Austin and "tried to shut me up." He also promised a legal challenge.
"Why would they have pressured me to resign before it was complete and before they had any findings?" he asked.
However, in their Monday night statement, the chairs said the investigation, by the law firm of Sidley Austin, had been completed, and the boards had terminated David for cause, immediately, for violations of his contract with HRC.