The Human Rights Campaign fired its president Monday, “effective immediately,” for advising Andrew Cuomo on how to handle allegations of sexual harassment. The country’s largest LGBTQ rights advocacy group said in a statement that Alphonso David had violated the terms of his contract by assisting the former New York governor, saying “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.” It went on to accuse David of lying about the organization’s investigation into him: “Yesterday and today, Mr. David released a statement that included significant untruths about the investigation and his status within the organization.” David responded, “They unjustly provided notice of termination to me in order to end my fight for the integrity of the review process... Expect a legal challenge.”
David had said he had been cleared of wrongdoing and defiantly declared “I am not resigning,” claiming he still had the support of employees. He previously worked as a lawyer for Cuomo and offered the former New York governor advice in December 2020 on how to respond to accusers, going so far as to share a memo with the governor’s office that included confidential details about one accusers, Lindsey Boylan, according to the New York attorney general’s report on Cuomo’s conduct. Cuomo resigned last month. The Human Rights Campaign said that, in addition to intense media scrutiny, it had received “hundreds of calls, emails, and negative comments” about David’s conduct, including from its own staff and board of directors.