Time’s Up board co-chair steps down in wake of Cuomo scandal
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Time’s Up board co-chair steps down in wake of Cuomo scandal

Time’s Up board co-chair Roberta Kaplan resigned from her position at the women’s rights organization after it came to light that she reviewed a draft of a letter questioning the character of one of New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s accusers, Lindsey Boylan.

“We hold ourselves accountable. The events of the last week have made it clear that our process should be evaluated and we intend to do just that,” the organization said in a statement Monday morning.

“Robbie Kaplan, board co-chair, has stepped down from the board. We and she agree that is the right and appropriate thing to do,” they said. CNN has reached out to Kaplan for comment.

Kaplan, a prominent progressive attorney who represented the plaintiff in the 2013 United States Supreme Court case that struck down a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, has been a key figure with Time’s Up since it was founded in the wake of a nationwide reckoning with sexual harassment and mistreatment of women in the workplace. She was a co-founder of the organization’s legal defense fund.

She was referred to in last week’s report issued by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James that details allegations by 11 women of sexual harassment at the hands of Cuomo, who has denied any wrongdoing.

According to the report, Cuomo and a group of advisers worked on a letter earlier this year in response to Boylan’s accusations. At Cuomo’s direction, his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, sent the letter to Kaplan for review. The report said DeRosa at the time was seeking to discredit Boylan by allegedly leaking personnel records and taking part in an effort to question Boylan’s character. The letter was never made public.

“According to Ms. DeRosa, Ms. Kaplan read the letter to the head of the advocacy group Times Up, and both of them allegedly suggested that, without the statements about Ms. Boylan’s interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine,” the attorney general’s report says.

DeRosa, who resigned late Sunday, has not publicly responded to the attorney general’s report or to any of the allegations regarding her role. Monday’s statement from Time’s Up does not directly address any of the findings in the attorney general’s report, though it says, “We hold ourselves accountable.

“The events of the last week have made it clear that our process should be evaluated and we intend to do just that. We need more transparency about our vision of change-making, and we need a more inclusive process to engage the broader survivor community, many of whom have spent years doing the noble work of fighting for women,” the statement says.

CNN has reached out to Boylan for reaction to Kaplan’s resignation.

Cuomo denies the allegations in the report and has so far resisted widespread calls to resign. The New York state Assembly’s Judiciary Committee convened on Monday to discuss possible steps toward impeaching the longtime governor.

The-CNN-Wire
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