On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned following the findings of an investigation which concluded that he had sexually harassed multiple women, including staffers and a state trooper assigned to his security detail.
The accusations had been piling up against Cuomo, but a third-party probe conducted at the request of the New York Attorney General Letitia James firmly stated that the governor had “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees,” as Letitia announced last Tuesday.
The fallout was swift — top Democrats, including President Joe Biden and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for his resignation, and a week after James announced the conclusion of the report, he finally stepped down this Tuesday.
On Monday, the Human Rights Campaign, one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ organizations in the country and major fixture in progressive politics, announced that it had launched an investigation into its own president for his alleged role in Cuomo’s attempt to suppress the mounting accusations of sexual harassment.
The Daily Caller reported that the board chairs for HRC and the HRC Foundation, Morgan Cox and Jodie Patterson, announced in a statement that the inclusion of President Alphonso David in James’ report was “very concerning.”
“Over the past several days, HRC’s employees, supporters, board members and partners have raised questions about the appropriateness of Alphonso David’s actions and whether they align with HRC’s decades’ long mission of fighting for equality and justice for all,” Cox and Patterson stated.
The organization’s board has retained the services of Sidley Austin LLP to conduct the probe.
“Sidley Austin will report only to and work at the direction of the Boards of Directors in conducting a thorough investigation,” the statement read.
“The investigation will include consideration of whether Alphonso David’s actions aligned with HRC’s mission and values, as well as with professional and ethics standards.”
“This board-led investigation, with which David is cooperating, will take no longer than 30 days, and will help shed light on the events that unfolded and guide the Boards on any necessary next steps,” it explained.
The same day that the attorney general report was released, HRC extended David’s contract for another five years, which according to The Huffington Post was mere coincidence — although certainly an unfortunate one, by the looks of it.
The following day, David had called for Cuomo to resign. He has said in his own statement that the allegations that he was involved in a cover-up were false and that he was merely doing what he was legally obligated to do when he provided senior Cuomo staffers with files relating to Lindsey Boylan, one of the governor’s accusers.
Here's Alphonso David's statement on HRC's investigation into him.
He says he welcomes it, in part because "multiple inaccuracies have been circulating" about his involvement with Cuomo.https://t.co/L8kPQl4jjI pic.twitter.com/pQXxmM8ahn
— Michael Gold (@migold) August 9, 2021
James’ report accused David, who previously served as a legal advisor to Cuomo, of helping him to draft the governor’s response to Boylan’s accusations, being involved with a plan to secretly record a conversation between a Cuomo staffer and another of the governor’s accusers, offering to put his name on a letter which attacked Boylan’s claims as political, and reaching out to accusers to try to get them to sign a statement saying positive things about the governor.
David was serving as HRC president at the time these alleged incidents took place.
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