New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today he will resign from office amid allegations he sexually harassed 11 women.
The announcement comes a week after a 165 page report released by New York State Attorney General Letitia James concluded the three-term governor had engaged in inappropriate behavior with current and former government workers.
The report also referenced Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David several times mentioning his time as a counselor to Cuomo prior to becoming the head of the HRC.
David has denied any wrongdoing saying he had no knowledge of any sexual misconduct by Cuomo. He’s also noted that the report doesn’t assign any improper behavior on his part.
From the Washington Blade:
“Although the report says David kept material from a personnel file on one of the accusers after he left Cuomo’s office and, after being asked by Cuomo for a copy, assisted in returning it to them in efforts to distribute it to the media and discredit the alleged victim, David says he was “legally obligated” to provide the report and “was not involved” in its public dissemination.”
David was also apparently asked to review a letter attacking an accuser’s credibility. David reportedly declined to sign the letter, but agreed to reach out to others to see if they would. The Associated Press reports “the letter was never widely disseminated.”
Following the release of the Attorney General’s report, David immediately called for Cuomo’s resignation on Twitter.
After reading the AG’s devastating report that concluded Gov. Cuomo engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment, in violation of both federal and state law, he should resign.
— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) August 3, 2021
HuffPost reported on an hour and a half conference call on Wednesday, August 4, between staff members of the HRC and David. Characterized as “tense,” at one point in the conversation a staffer asked, “When are you resigning?”
But on Monday, August 9, the HRC announced an independent review will be conducted regarding David and the Attorney General’s report.
On Twitter, David said he “fully endorses” the review adding that there were “multiple inaccuracies” circulating in regard to the report. He also reiterated his calls for Cuomo’s resignation.
Please read a note that I shared earlier with the Board and the staff of HRC. pic.twitter.com/p4ioiSVSzH
— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) August 9, 2021
Another noted figure in LGBTQ advocacy, Roberta Kaplan, who successfully argued against the Defense of Marriage act at the U.S. Supreme Court, was also mentioned in the report. She was described as having “reviewed” a potential op-ed, that might have discredited one of Cuomo’s accusers, for legal issues. The op-ed was never published.
But due to the inclusion of her name in the report, Kaplan has resigned from her role as a board member of “Time’s Up,” a #MeToo-era organization.
Lt. Governor Kath Hochul will become governor once Cuomo’s resignation takes effect. She will be the first woman Governor of New York.
Kathy Hochul, Lt. Governor, will become the first woman Governor of New York. pic.twitter.com/8GsCfRpHek
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) August 10, 2021