Roberta Kaplan on Monday resigned her position as chairwoman of Time’s Up, an organization that advocates for victims of sexual harassment, after she was exposed as one of the people involved in a smear campaign against one of the women who accused Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment.
Kaplan, a prominent progressive lawyer, said in her resignation letter that she has “reluctantly come to the conclusion that an active law practice is no longer compatible with serving on the Board at Time’s Up at this time and I hereby resign,” according to the New York Times.
A report released last week by the New York attorney general’s office describes how the governor’s office, Kaplan, and ex-staffers, including Cuomo’s former chief counsel Alphonso David, sought to discredit Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who accused him earlier this year of sexually harassing and forcibly kissing her. The group worked on a letter that “denied the legitimacy of Ms. Boylan’s allegations, impugned her credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated.”
The letter was said to be Cuomo’s brainchild, but when some in his inner circle voiced concerns about it potentially backfiring if published, Cuomo had his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, solicit Kaplan for input. “Both of them allegedly suggested that, without the statements about Ms. Boylan’s interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine,” the report said. The letter was ultimately never published.
In resigning her posts, Kaplan joins DeRosa, who left her job in the governor’s office in a surprise development on Sunday.
Meanwhile, David is under fire in his position as president of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT-rights group. On Monday, the organization said it has hired an outside firm to investigate David’s role in the Cuomo scandal. “Over the past several days, HRC’s employees, supporters, board members and partners have raised questions about the appropriateness of Alphonso David’s actions and whether they align with HRC’s decades’ long mission of fighting for equality and justice for all,” the statement reads.