Human Rights Campaign (HRC) fired its first Black president on Monday after he refused to step down following the report revealing that he had advised former Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his sexual harassment scandal, The New York Post reports.
The role of Interim President for the HRC was immediately filed by Chief Operating Officer and Chief Staff Joni Madison until a new president is chosen.
Morgan Cox and Jodie Patterson, co-chairs of the board of the LGBTQ advocacy organization, pointed in a statement Monday that Alphonso David’s termination is effective immediately, for violations of his contract with the Human Rights Campaign.
The decision came after the HRC launched an investigation into David’s behavior that had reportedly been in conflict with HRC’s mission and its Conflict of Interest policy with his counsel to Cuomo after New York state Attorney General Letitia James’ report concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women.
According to the information, beyond two abstentions from the foundation board, the votes were unanimous.
Cox and Patterson noted in their statement that the Board’s decision is not the outcome they’ve envisioned or hoped for David’s tenure with HRC but has been unavoidable after he violated HRC’s core values, policies and mission.
Later on Sunday, David had accused the organization of pushing him to step down because they felt the incident has been a distraction for HRC and not because they’ve found any wrongdoing against him, after which the organization disputed his claims.
Cox and Patterson statement’s stressed that David’s speaking “untruths”, pointing to the fact that he engaged in a number of activities in December 2020 to assist Cuomo’s team in responding to allegations of sexual harassment by Cuomo’s former aide Lindsey Boylan.
They said his acting was in violation of HRC’s Conflict of Interest policy and the mission of HRC, and poses risk of material damage to HRC/HRCF’s interests, reputation and prospects as well as significant enough damage to his reputation to impair to his ability to serve as the public face and voice of HRC.