Former HRC president suing organization for racial discrimination

Alphonso David. Photo from Facebook

Alphonso David, the former president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is suing the organization claiming racial discrimination.

David was fired from the HRC in September 2021 after it was found that he had been giving advice to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on how to handle accusations of sexual harassments. Cuomo was pushed out of office because of the accusations and increasing evidence. According to CNBC, David had told New York state investigators that he talked to the then-governor’s aides on at least two different instances of how to handle accusations ions of sexual harassment during 2020 and 2021, during his time at HRC.

“Last year, after a Board-led investigation conducted through the Executive Committees of the HRC and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Boards of Directors, constituted of their independent Directors, with the assistance of Sidley Austin, the boards voted to terminate Alphonso David for cause,” said HRC Interim President Joni Madison. “Mr. David’s actions – which he does not dispute – in assisting Governor Cuomo’s team in responding to allegations by Ms. Boylan of sexual harassment were, among other things, in violation of HRC’s Conflict of Interest policy and the mission of HRC.”

The HRC had renewed David’s contract before information about David’s involvement in the Cuomo scandal. He had been named president in 2019. David was the first civil rights lawyer and person of color to lead the HRC.

In his own statement, David said that the HRC was plagued by racial bias and secrecy. According to David, he was asked to resign before the findings of the internal HRC investigation were released. He said that when he refused, he was fired and no findings ever issued.

“HRC cannot ask others to advance fairness and equality when it refuses to do so within its own ranks,” David said. “We don’t achieve justice by hiding in darkness or cowering when institutions with power abuse it.”

The HRC has come under fire in the past for lacking diversity. In 2015, Buzzfeed received a report that was done by HRC on itself. “Leadership culture is experienced as homogenous — gay, white, male,” the report said. David’s hiring in 2019 was seen as an effort to change that culture.

The full complaint can be found here.  



This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy