Human Rights Campaign Fires President Who Helped Smear Cuomo Accuser

Alphonso David in 2017 / Getty Images
September 7, 2021

The Human Rights Campaign fired President Alphonso David for helping to smear a woman who accused former New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) of sexual harassment.

The LGBT rights group announced Monday that it fired David for "violating [the Human Rights Campaign's] core values, policies and mission."

The announcement marks a significant change for the Human Rights Campaign, which renewed David's contract the same week that New York attorney general Letitia James (D.) named him multiple times in a damning report on sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo.

According to the report, David aided the Cuomo administration's efforts to discredit Lindsey Boylan, the first of 11 women to accuse Cuomo of harassment. After Boylan first made her accusations, David, who until 2019 was Cuomo's chief counsel, sent Boylan's personnel file to Cuomo aides, who then leaked it to the media. He also advised the administration on an op-ed that Cuomo's staffers wrote to discredit Boylan.

David, who refused to resign after the report, blasted his former employer in a Tuesday statement, saying the group's board members have "elected to hide in darkness."

"Expect a legal challenge," David wrote.

David is not the only leader of a prominent left-wing group to face a reckoning over the Cuomo scandal.

The cofounders of Time's Up, a feminist #MeToo organization with deep ties to the Democratic Party, resigned this month following reports that they also helped Cuomo try to discredit Boylan.

The Human Rights Campaign boasts Apple, Google, Amazon, and Pfizer, among other companies, as corporate backers. None of the corporations have cut ties with the group over the accusations.