The chair of Time’s Up, a corporation that advocates for victims of sexual harassment within the office, resigned Monday amid backlash over her ties to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who has been accused by nearly a dozen ladies in latest months of sexual misconduct.
Roberta Kaplan, who additionally co-founded the group’s authorized protection fund, mentioned in her letter of resignation that her standing as a training lawyer precluded her from overtly answering questions on her involvement with Cuomo, reported The New York Times.
“I therefore have 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,” Kaplan reportedly wrote in her letter.
In a report printed by the workplace of New York State Attorney General Letitia James final week, investigators said that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 present and former feminine staff.
Cuomo has denied the allegations, telling reporters final week that he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.” Despite resignation calls from some high Democrats, together with President Joe Biden, Cuomo has to date refused to step down.
The state legal professional basic’s report additionally accused Kaplan of reviewing a draft of an opinion piece geared toward disparaging Lindsey Boylan, one in every of Cuomo’s accusers. The piece was by no means printed.
Kaplan served as authorized counsel for Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s high aide, through the investigation. DeRosa, accused within the state legal professional basic’s report of spearheading efforts to discredit Boylan, introduced her resignation from the governor’s workplace Sunday.
Kaplan’s resignation got here as a gaggle of sexual assault survivors and activists on Monday printed an open letter on Medium that accused Time’s Up of “failing the survivor community,” naming Kaplan particularly of their grievance.
“Survivors are so often let down by the system of justice in this country, and it is heartbreaking to see that TIME’S UP has become a willing participant in that never-ending labyrinth,” the group wrote. “The pattern of your behavior shows you do not deserve our trust any longer without serious structural changes.”
The group additionally took goal at Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time’s Up, for her alleged involvement in serving to Cuomo navigate the allegations in opposition to him. The state legal professional basic’s report accused Tchen of additionally reviewing the opinion piece meant to assault Boylan.
DeRosa testified to investigators that Kaplan and Tchen instructed that “without the statements about Ms. Boylan’s interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine.”
Tchen has denied giving any recommendation to Cuomo or his workforce. Both Kaplan and Tchen have mentioned they might by no means approve an assault on an accuser.
“We were among a group of people asked for thoughts on a public response to Ms. Boylan’s allegations when they first came out in December 2020,” Kaplan mentioned in a press release final week. “While it turns out the response was never published, I made it very clear that any response should never shame an accuser. Given the revelations in the N.Y. A.G.’s report, I support and agree with Time’s Up that Governor Cuomo should resign.”
Kaplan and Tchen co-founded the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in early 2018 amid the worldwide Me Too depending on sexual harassment and assault. The group has raised over $24 million since its creation and has paired greater than 4,000 survivors with legal professionals, in line with CBS News.
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