New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been pushed out of office for a string of allegations against him, and now he may have taken a leading LGBT activist down with him.
Cuomo resigned last month amid mounting accusations of sexual misconduct, but the president of the Human Rights Watch, Alphonso David — formerly chief counsel to Cuomo -has now been removed for his alleged involvement in Cuomo’s scandal.
David allegedly helped Cuomo respond to allegations of misconduct and, those allegations are what led the Human Rights Campaign to say it “fired him for cause.”
David is not going down without a fight, however, and responded to the news by saying he will sue.
“As a Black, gay man who has spent his whole life fighting for civil and human rights, they cannot shut me up,” David said. “Expect a legal challenge.”
David said he was “unjustly” denied the correct termination process which will likely be part of the grounds for his suit.
“After I demanded truth and transparency, the HRC board co-chairs, who should stand for human rights, elected to hide in darkness,” David said. “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.”
HRC defended their decision, saying they are still investigating but that David was allegedly not telling them about his involvement in the scandal.
On his final day in office, Cuomo defended himself and pushed back against allegations against him:
There will be another time to talk about the truth and ethics of the recent situation involving me, but let me say now that, when government politicizes allegations and the headlines condemn without facts, you undermine the justice system – and that doesn’t serve women and it doesn’t serve men or society.
Of course everyone has a right to come forward and we applaud their bravery and courage in doing so, but allegations must still be scrutinized and verified whether made by a woman or a man. That is our basic justice system.
I understand that there are moments of intense political pressure and media frenzy that cause a rush to judgment. But that is not right. It’s not fair or sustainable. Facts still matter.
The HRC hired David two years ago and, at the time, proudly touted his work as Cuomo’s chief counsel as well as his efforts on marriage equality and other gender issues.