A former aide to ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans a legal challenge after he was fired Monday evening by the Human Rights Campaign, a prominent LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization, after he was alleged to have played a role in the governor's response to sexual harassment allegations leveled against him.
The firing of Alphonso David, who had served as the group's president since June 2019, is the latest fallout from the scandal that ultimately consumed Cuomo's administration and led to his resignation last month.
Independent investigators determined Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women over the course of several years, while aides and former advisors to the governor sought to undermine the allegations of one woman by releasing documents from her time working for the state.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, who replaced Cuomo in office at the end of last month, said no one implicated in the report would stay on in her new administration. The scandal also led to a rupture at the group #TimesUp after it was revealed the group's co-founder and chairwoman Roberta Kaplan advised Cuomo officials in the wake of the allegations.
David served as a counsel and legal aide to the Cuomo administration for more than two terms.
The report released in August by Attorney General Letitia James' office found David was among the former Cuomo administration officials who advised the governor on how to handle initial sexual harassment allegations made by Lindsey Boylan. Cuomo's office ultimately released personnel records to the press following Boylan's allegations becoming public.
David had provided the memo related to Boylan's history with current Cuomo staffers, the report found.
His alleged efforts led to an internal investigation by the Human Rights Campaign itself. On Sunday afternoon, David posted to Twitter the internal report had cleared him of any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, David revealed he was asked to resign by the co-chairs of the group's board, which he refused.
A copy of the group's internal investigation, David was told, would not be made public or available to him. By Monday evening, the organization fired David.
"[They] unjustly provided notice of termination to me in order to end my fight for the integrity of the review process and for what is right," David posted to Twitter. "I asked for the report, they refused."
He added, "Expect a legal challenge."
In a statement, the Human Rights Campaign indicated David's continued leadership of the organization was untenable given the report oulining his role in the Cuomo's administration response, saying it was at odds with the group's goals.
"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," said foundation board chairs organ Cox and Jodie Patterson. "As outlined in the New York Attorney General report, Mr. David engaged in a number of activities in December 2020, while HRC President, to assist Governor Cuomo’s team in responding to allegations by Ms. Boylan of sexual harassment. This conduct in assisting Governor Cuomo’s team, while president of HRC, was in violation of HRC’s Conflict of Interest policy and the mission of HRC."