Jim Malatras, a longtime aide to former governor Andrew Cuomo, stepped down on Thursday from his position as chancellor of the 64-campus State University of New York system. The resignation was spurred by the release last week of transcripts from New York Attorney General Letitia James’s investigation into Cuomo’s alleged sexual misconduct, which revealed the details of Malatras’s advice to the former governor over the sexual-harassment scandal that forced him out of office.
The offending messages involve Lindsey Boylan, the first former Cuomo aide to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. After Boylan criticized the “toxic and demoralizing experience” of being a working mother in the governor’s administration in May 2019, Malatras wrote to a colleague: “Let’s release some of her cray emails!” Malatras also liked a comment from Cuomo aide Rich Azzopardi in a group chat that read “I thought we outlawed bath salts.” After Boylan called him tone-deaf on Twitter, Malatras texted other Cuomo aides: “Malatras to Boylan: Go f__ yourself.”
His tone was considerably quieter in his resignation letter. “I believe deeply in an individual’s ability to evolve, change and grow, but I also believe deeply in SUNY and would never want to be an impediment to its success,” Malatras wrote, noting that the change would be effective January 14. He was first appointed to the top SUNY position in August 2020 after its board of trustees decided not to do a nationwide search for the next chancellor of the school system, reportedly at the request of the administration.
Malatras joins a growing list of ex–Cuomo advisers who have faced consequences in the wake of the former governor’s ongoing sexual-misconduct scandal. Back in August, Tina Tchen stepped down as president of the sexual-assault survivor’s advocacy organization Time’s Up after it emerged that she told her team to “stand down” from backing Lindsey Boylan. In October, the president of the Human Rights Campaign Alphonso David was fired from the LGBTQ advocacy group for advising Cuomo on the allegations against him. And last week, CNN fired Chris Cuomo after transcripts from the state attorney general’s inquiry showed that he tried to dig up “intel” on allegations before they were made public.