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State University NY chancellor James Malatras resign Andrew Cuomo sex accuser Lindsey Boylan

There are calls for the university Chancellor of SUNY, James Malatras, to step down following the release of text messages showing he mocked one of the women who later accused former Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment.

Before his role at SUNY, Malatras was a former top adviser to the disgraced former governor in his role as governor's state operations director.

Now, a series of damning text messages reveal he attempted to smear one of Cuomo's sex accusers, Lindsey Boylan by releasing private emails, text messages and information from her personnel file. 

Students and employees at the State University of New York, as well as some state politicians are calling on Jim Malatras, chancellor of SUNY to resign

Call comes after New York attorney general released old text messages that showed Malatras mocking an aide to former New York governor Andrew Cuomo

Text messages show Malatras and other ex–Cuomo staffers ridiculing Lindsey Boylan for calling out a toxic work environment

Malatras has come under fire after Attorney General Letitia James made public transcripts and evidence from a months-long probe of sexual harassment allegations that forced Cuomo from office. Cuomo has denied harassing anyone.

A text exchange involving Malatras and other Cuomo allies showed them mocking Boylan, a former economic development official who was the first woman to publicly accuse Cuomo. 

Boylan, after leaving the administration, tweeted in 2019 that working in politics had been 'a toxic and demoralizing experience.'

At the time, she had yet to go public with her sexual harassment allegations against the governor.

'Let's release some of her cray emails,' Malatras texted, using slang for crazy.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras who was a former aide to Governor Cuomo suggested in a text message 'Let's release some of her cray emails!' 

The text messaging group had been given the title: 'Somehow, we're in charge'

Over the weekend, Boylan tweeted how she had not received any apology from Malatras

Boylan tweeted throughout the weekend as she called out SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras' failure to apologize to her personally

Lindsay Boylan, pictures as she gave sexual harassment testimony regarding former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

After Boylan called him out in a series of tweets, Malatras texted to the group: 'Malatras to Boylan: Go f**k yourself.'  

Malatras also forwarded Cuomo aides a picture of a nuclear explosion with the word 'kaboom' as he discussed Boylan.

One year later, Cuomo's team released portions of Boylan's personnel file to try to discount her claims of harassment. 

The SUNY Student Assembly on Friday called for the trustees to remove Malatras with a vote of no confidence.

'Allowing the chancellor to remain in place damages the reputation of the system, detracting from our education and devaluing the degrees we are all working towards,' the group, which represents students in SUNY governance, said.

'It looks like CNN is more accountable than @SUNY that can't seem to fire an unqualified, abusive, and misogynistic chancellor,' New York Assembleyman Ron Kim said in a tweet.

Sen. John Liu (D-Queens), who also serves on the education panel, tweeted, 'SUNY trustees must oust Jim Malatras whose only road to becoming chancellor last year was being Andrew Cuomo's henchman.'

In a statement Friday, Malatras said he owed Boylan and the SUNY community an apology.

'Leadership in public service is a privilege and with it comes immense responsibility for upholding the values of professionalism, decency, and respect. I take that responsibility very seriously and in recent days it has been clear I have fallen short,' he wrote, calling his remarks 'inappropriate, disrespectful and wrong.'

Boylan later tweeted that she had not received any apology from Malatras.

'I'm glad he didn't apologize because, based on his email, he continues to lie,' she said.

There appears to be growing calls within political circles for him to step down.  

'I believe he should resign or be terminated by the SUNY board,' said state Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), who serves on Albany's higher-education panel, to The New York Post.

'The only reason he got that gig was because he was a toxic enabler of the Departed [Cuomo],' Rivera said.

Sen. John Liu (D-Queens), who also serves on the education panel, tweeted, 'SUNY trustees must oust Jim Malatras whose only road to becoming chancellor last year was being Andrew Cuomo's henchman.'

Neither did Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) who compared CNN's firing of Chris Cuomo for aiding his brother with the 15-member SUNY Board of Trustees defending Malatras.

Boylan, pictured, was active in her drive to see Governor Cuomo resign over the last year. She is pictured at a march in Washington Square Park last March

'It looks like CNN is more accountable than @SUNY that can't seem to fire an unqualified, abusive, and misogynistic chancellor,' Kim said in a tweet.

Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx), who served with Malatras in the governor's office, said also did not buy Malatras apology.

'Don't believe Chancellor Jim Malatras, who claims he was acting out of character by discrediting the women harassed by Cuomo. He never respected women,' Biaggi wrote, noting that he mocked the idea of 'New York being the first state to address access to menstrual products … in schools.'

But not everyone is calling for Malatras to step aside and it appears the leaders of New York's public college system are still standing behind him. 

'Jim gave a full-throated apology which I thought was sincere. I hope [Boylan] can find in her heart to accept his apology,' SUNY board chairwoman Merryl Tisch said. 

'He's acknowledged he made a mistake, taken full responsibility for it, and apologized appropriately,' the State University of New York Board of Trustees said in a statement this weekend following a written apology from Malatras.

'He is fully focused on the critical work of keeping our facilities open and our students and faculty safe through the ongoing pandemic.'

The trustees' statement praised Malatras' leadership of the 64-campus system through the pandemic since his appointment in August 2020 with a salary of around $450,000.

'We have challenging days ahead and believe Jim Malatras, as chancellor of the State University of New York, remains the right leader to help us meet that challenge,' the statement continues.

The New York State Public Employees Federation and United University Professions, unions which represent SUNY faculty and staff, also issued statements expressing support for Malatras.  

Messages also revealed that a current Facebook exec, Dani Lever played a key part in advising Cuomo aides on how to smear Lindsey Boylan, (pictured)

 Messages revealed that Lever, a former Cuomo staffer, was afraid of her new bosses at Facebook would discover her involvement advising Cuomo

Last week, Boylan slammed a female Facebook exec for trying to 'destroy' her by telling the then-governor's team to 'victim shame her on the record' by releasing her personal file.

Boylan tweeted out a defiant message as more documents detailing the intense effort by Cuomo's inner circle to discredit her continued to come to light. 

'Incredible how many powerful people and organizations tried to destroy me behind the scenes and in plain sight,' she tweeted on Wednesday. 'They did not succeed. They never will.'  

Her tweet comes as New York attorney general Letitia James released documents that include texts from Facebook communications manager Dani Lever who advised the former governor's team to victim shame accuser Boylan. 

Lever sent a message to Cuomo's staff, including top aide 'mean girl' Melissa DeRosa, on December 13 last year saying 'I think we can victim shame on the record'.

It was in response to tweets sent by Lindsay Boylan accusing the governor of sexual harassment.  

Shortly afterwards Cuomo's staff attempted to smear her by releasing her personal files. 

New documents released by New York attorney general Letitia James include text from Facebook manager Dani Lever who advised the former governor's team to victim shame accuser Lindsay Boylan

Boylan tweeted a message to 'power people' who had attempted to 'destroy me'

Lever now works as a communications manager at Facebook