The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ rights organization has just fired its first Black president Alphonso David, The New York Times reported. He was terminated for allegedly violating his contract with the organization. His termination is effective immediately.
The aforementioned contractual breach may have involved David’s role in the scandal surrounding sexual harassment allegations against New York’s Democratic former Andrew Cuomo. David served as Cuomo’s chief counsel and principal legal advisor before becoming HRC’s president.
In New York Attorney General Letitia James’ August 2021 report on her investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, she wrote that David forwarded the personnel files of accuser Lindsey Boylan to the governor’s office as required. Those files were then leaked to the press to try and discredit her. David was asked to sign a letter that questioned Boylan’s motivations; he suggested edits but refused to sign himself. The letter was never released.
The HRC launched an investigation into David’s actions in early August. Yesterday, David said that HRC’s investigation into him had cleared him of all wrongdoing. The HRC’s board said his statement was untrue.
“Yesterday and today, Mr. David released a statement that included significant untruths about the investigation and his status with the organization,” HRC board co-chairs Morgan Cox and Jodie Patterson said in a statement. “At HRC, we are fighting to bring full equality and liberation to LGBTQ+ people everywhere. That includes fighting on behalf of all victims of sexual harassment and assault.”
David had pledged to cooperate with the HRC’s investigation, stating that he “fully endorsed” it. He also denied any wrongdoing on his part. However, he also said that he thought Cuomo should resign after James’ report seemed to corroborate the sexual harassment allegations against him.
In a past statement about his role under Cuomo, David said, “Multiple inaccuracies have been circulating and therefore this definitive review is important.” He reiterated that he had no knowledge of any of Cuomo’s alleged behavior. He also said that Cuomo’s staff “tried to use me, as they have used countless others.”