Human Rights Campaign’s first Black president ousted for advising Cuomo

Alphonso David was reportedly involved in efforts to undermine the former governor's first sexual harassment accuser.

Alphonso David, the first Black president of the LGBTQ organization Human Rights Campaign, has been fired for advising disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on managing his sexual harassment allegations. 

David was terminated “for cause” by the boards of the organization and its affiliated foundation, according to a report from The New York Times,  There were two members who abstained their vote on the foundation board, but otherwise, the votes were unanimous. 

Former Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David (above) previously worked as a lawyer in disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office. David was mentioned by name in a report as being involved in efforts to undermine the former governor’s first sexual harassment accuser. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

The Human Rights Campaign is the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization. 

David had previously worked as a lawyer in Cuomo’s office, and, in a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James, was mentioned by name as being involved in efforts to undermine the former governor’s first accuser, Lindsey Boylan

David reportedly shared a memo about Boylan’s employment history with communications advisers who intended to share that information with reporters, and he’s said to have made edits to another letter intended to malign Boylan. 

An anonymous source told The Times David never told the organization he was assisting Cuomo, nor did he inform the group’s attorneys or tell anyone he was being interviewed as part of the investigation by James’ office. 

He wrote on Twitter that he was provided notice of termination to end his “fight for the integrity of the review process and for what’s right.” He says the HRC refused to provide him with a “report” and that they are trying “shut (him) up.” 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes questions from reporters during a recent press conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

“As a Black, gay man who has spent his whole life fighting for civil and human rights, they cannot shut me up,” he tweeted. “Expect a legal challenge.”

In a statement released prior to the one David posted on social media, co-chairs of the board Morgan Cox and Jodie Patterson said, “This is a painful moment in our movement,”

“While the board’s decision is not the outcome we had ever envisioned or hoped for in terms of Mr. David’s tenure with H.R.C.,” they wrote, “his actions have put us in an untenable position by violating H.R.C.’s core values, policies and mission.”

After David shared his Twitter post, the two released an additional statement, saying, “Yesterday and today, Mr. David released a statement that included significant untruths about the investigation and his status with the organization.”

In an email to staff, Cox and Patterson wrote, “This decision was made by the full boards of both H.R.C. and H.R.C. Foundation because of Alphonso’s own actions in support of Governor Cuomo.”

“He alone bears responsibility for what he did,” they assert, “and the consequences.”

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