Cuomo fallout still roiling Human Rights Campaign, Time’s Up

Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Attorney Roberta Kaplan in 2015.

Cuomo fallout still roiling Human Rights Campaign, Time’s Up

The chair of Time's Up, Roberta Kaplan, resigned after the state attorney general's report found that she consulted with the governor's aides.
August 10, 2021

The repercussions of the scandal surrounding two nonprofit leaders who were involved in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s attempts to discredit a former aide accusing him of sexual harassment now include one of those leaders stepping down.

Roberta Kaplan, who served as chair of the anti-sex abuse organization Time’s Up and co-founded the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, resigned from her position after a report from the state attorney general’s office found she read a letter drafted to question the credibility of Lindsey Boylan, who accused the governor of sexual harassment.

Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen and its board released a statement that Kaplan’s resignation was “the right and appropriate thing to do,” and committed to being more transparent, though they didn’t provide more details on what that meant. A group of survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault released a letter criticizing Time’s Up, calling for the organization to launch a third-party investigation examining whether more board members and staff have advised or represented “perpetrators of harm.”

Meanwhile, the boards of the Human Rights Campaign have announced to staff that they will launch an independent investigation into HRC President Alphonso David’s role in advising Cuomo’s aides this year. Many staff members at the LGBTQ rights group began calling for David’s resignation soon after the board renewed his contract for an additional five years. According to the attorney general’s report, David provided an internal file on Boylan to the governor’s aides, who later leaked it to reporters. 

“Multiple inaccuracies have been circulating and therefore this definitive role is important,” David said in an email sent to staff, according to The Washington Post. “I deeply empathize with all survivors and understand how these types of events can perpetuate their own traumas. What the Governor is accused of doing is reprehensible and antithetical to our values and all that we fight for.”

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.