The head of the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group defiantly tweeted Sunday that he will not resign over his role in ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s attempts at damage control amid a sexual harassment scandal.
Alphonso David — who took over the Human Rights Campaign after serving as Cuomo’s chief counsel from 2015 to 2019 — claimed in his statement that he had been asked to step down even after an independent review found “no indication of wrongdoing.”
“The board co-chairs have now asked me to consider resigning, not because of any wrongdoing, but because they feel the incident has been a ‘distraction’ for the organization,” David wrote in his tweet, adding that he had been asked to “resolve the matter quietly during this holiday weekend.
“I have the support of too many of our employees, board members and stakeholders to walk away quietly into the night,” he said. “I am not resigning.”
State Attorney General Letitia James’s blockbuster report on Cuomo from Aug. 3 noted that David had sent a copy of Cuomo harassment accuser Lindsay Boylan’s confidential personal file to top gubernatorial aide Melissa DeRosa as part of an attempt to smear the accuser.
Two days later, David faced an open revolt from HRC staffers, who spent an hour and a half behind closed doors excoriating the former civil-rights lawyer, reports said at the time.
David reportedly told the employees that he had been “legally obligated” to turn over Boylan’s personnel file — a point he reiterated in Sunday’s statement.
“When the New York Attorney General’s report came out, I was shocked and sick to my stomach and immediately called on Governor Cuomo to resign,” David said. “I was confident that the facts would speak for themselves: that I had a legal obligation to hand over a memo when the Governor’s office requested it.”
David insisted his connections to Cuomo were never a “distraction” — and claimed HRC’s co-chairs were refusing to make public the findings of the independent review of his actions.
‘We have had an active month of advocacy and new financial commitments to the organization. The distraction would be calling for my resignation without providing the results of the review,” he said.
In a tweet Sunday, Boylan suggested that David was being misleading about the independent review’s conclusions.
“Alphonso David questions the veracity of a report having never read it & yet is able to say it finds him innocent of any wrongdoing in helping to smear me when I spoke publicly about the abusive monster we both worked for over a period of years,” she tweeted.
“What a time to be alive.”
Queens Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim — who has said Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him for daring to criticize him while he was governor — told The Post, “Alphonso David should be ashamed of himself, resign immediately, and apologize to the survivors and public for his part in enabling an abusive governor.
“As a long-time ally and political enforcer of Andrew Cuomo, Alphonso David has been an integral part of Cuomo’s toxic and abusive core and must be held accountable.”
Eric Vladimer of the Sexual Harassment Working Group rapped David for hiding behind a narrow legal argument to provide cover for his “immoral” and “unethical” actions.
“This is a man who is a president of the Human Rights Campaign, which is supposed to fight discrimination,” Vladimer said.
“David’s use of a narrow legal argument as cover to indemnify himself for turning over personnel records to retaliate against a worker who was traumatized is an immoral and unethical decision.”
Allen Roskoff of New York City’s JimOwles LGBT Democratic Club called on David to resign from his position at HRC.
“As the counsel to the governor of the state of New York, he should be held to the highest moral, ethical and legal standards that come with that responsibility,” Roskoff said.
“Clearly, his poor judgment and reckless handling of personnel files is troubling to say the least.”