The Human Rights Campaign has followed through with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s demand, firing Alphonso David, the beleaguered (now, former) executive director of the HRC.
“At HRC, we are fighting to bring full equality and liberation to LGBTQ+ people everywhere,” read a joint statement from co-chairs Jodie Patterson and Morgan Cox. “That includes fighting on behalf of all victims of sexual harassment and assault. 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 Gov. 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.”
David took to his Instagram to respond to the decision, writing that he plans on putting up a legal fight.
“As a Black, gay man who has spent his whole life fighting for civil and human rights, they cannot shut me up,” he wrote. “Expect a legal challenge.”
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Before joining HRC in 2019, David served as in-house counsel for Gov. Cuomo. That relationship led Cuomo to ask David to help him respond to the allegations, according to a report released last month by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ report. David shared a confidential personnel file on one of the accusers, Lindsey Boylan, to Cuomo’s team, who then turned it over to the media, the report said.
In a previous statement from David, he tried to offer his perspective on the then circulating termination rumors.
“Despite the lack of any findings, the board co-chairs have now asked me to consider resigning,” David said in a Twitter post, “not because of any wrongdoing, but because they feel the incident has been a ‘distraction’ for the organization.”
David said he took part in the reviews because he knew it would clear him.
“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, and that I, in fact, spoke out against the draft letter I was asked to sign,” he wrote.
David said the HRC board chairs contacted him and shared that the report showed no improper conduct and that the report’s results would not be released.
“They told me that the results of the independent review would not be shared with anyone — not me, and not the HRC community,” he said. “It isn’t even clear from our conversations that a formal report actually exists.”
Though the co-chairs asked for his resignation, David said he was adamant about not giving it.
“They told me they wanted to resolve the matter quietly during this holiday weekend leading up to the 30-day deadline for the review, hoping there would be less media interest during this time,” he said. “I have the support of too many of our employees, board members, and stakeholders to walk away quietly into the night. I am not resigning.”
Not only did he not tender his resignation, but David also called out the co-chairs on all of his social media platforms.
“The idea that this is a distraction is simply not right. … We have had an active month of advocacy and new financial commitments to the organization,” he wrote. “The distraction would be calling for my resignation without providing the results of the review. Keeping the review behind lock and key would be an injustice to me, and more importantly to our employees, supporters, and all members of the HRC community.”