LGBTQ advocacy group chief fired after advising former New York governor Cuomo over harassment claims

NEW YORK (REUTERS) – Mr Alphonso David, president of Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States, was fired on Monday (Sept 6) after a US Attorney-General report said he had advised former New York governor Andrew Cuomo on how to handle sexual harassment allegations, the organisation’s board said.

His dismissal was announced by HRC board co-chairs Morgan Cox and Jodie Patterson in a statement that said that his actions in assisting Mr Cuomo’s teams had violated the campaign’s mission.

It also accused Mr David of making statements that included “significant untruths” about the investigation and his role in the organisation.

“At HRC, we are fighting to bring full equality and liberation to LGBTQ+ people everywhere. That includes fighting on behalf of all victims of sexual harassment and assault,” the statement said.

According to Mr David’s LinkedIn profile, he was president of HRC for more than two years, having spent over eight years prior to that working for Mr Cuomo’s office – first as counsel for civil rights and then as chief counsel.

Mr Cuomo, 63, stepped down as governor in August after a state investigation concluded that he sexually harassed women who worked for him. He said it was “unfair” that he had to resign. He at times expressed regret for making young women uncomfortable, but denied criminal wrongdoing.

The HRC board said that Mr David’s conduct had violated the group’s “conflict of interest” policy and that it resulted in “material damage” to the reputations of Mr David and of the group.

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