ALBANY, NY (AP) – New York State University System Chief Chancellor James Malatras on Thursday said he would step down amid harsh criticism for his actions when he was one of the main assistants of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The recent events that have surrounded me over the past week have become a distraction from the important work that must be done as SUNY emerges from COVID-19,” Malatras said in a letter to the Chairman of the Board of administration of the State University of New York. .
His resignation is effective on January 14.
Malatras came under fire after state attorney general Letitia James released transcripts and public evidence from an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment that forced Cuomo out of office. Cuomo has denied harassing anyone.
A 2019 text exchange involving Malatras and other Cuomo allies showed them privately mocking Lindsey Boylan, a former economic development official who would later become the first woman to publicly accuse Cuomo.
At the time, Boylan had yet to go public with his allegations of sexual harassment against the governor. But after leaving the administration, she tweeted that working in politics had been “a toxic and demoralizing experience.”
“Let’s free some of his crazy emails,” Malatras wrote, using slang to mean crazy.
Boylan had left the administration after some of his subordinates complained about his own behavior at work, saying they felt bullied.
Additionally, the Times Union of Albany reported this week that when Malatras was running the SUNY Rockefeller Institute, he called an employee “misery” and “fucking impossible.”
The state university board said last week it supported Malatras. But state lawmakers and others had called for his resignation.
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