Head of New York university system officially resigns after texts about Cuomo's accuser uncovered

Jim Malatras announced his resignation as chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY), in December after the profane messages were released by the office of state Attorney General Letitia James. The revelation came amid sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, a Democrat.

The governor resigned in April 2021 following accusations from 11 women who claimed he sexually harassed them. Malatras officially stepped down on Friday.

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Then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks as he is joined via video conference by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, during the Governor's daily briefing following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan in New York City on July 13, 2020. At right is Jim Malatras, president of SUNY Empire State College. Malatras officially resigned on Jan. 14. REUTERS/Mike Segar (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks as he is joined via video conference by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, during the Governor’s daily briefing following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan in New York City on July 13, 2020. At right is Jim Malatras, president of SUNY Empire State College. Malatras officially resigned on Jan. 14. REUTERS/Mike Segar (REUTERS/Mike Segar) ( )

The former chancellor allegedly engaged in a heckling campaign against former Cuomo aide Lindsay Boylan when he worked in the governor’s Executive Chamber following her complaints of a toxic workplace environment.

In a private exchange with members of the Executive Chamber, Malatras wrote, “Malatras to Boylan: Go f*** yourself.” In other messages, he told staff he wanted to “drive her nuts” and suggested they should “release some of her cray [sic] emails.”

In his resignation letter, Malatras said he had “no other higher calling in life” than being chancellor of SUNY. He said the events surrounding him had become a “distraction.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks before getting vaccinated at a church in the Harlem section of New York, Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks before getting vaccinated at a church in the Harlem section of New York, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool)

A spokesperson for SUNY did not have any information on what kind of financial package he left with. 

Deborah Stanley, former president of SUNY Oswego, has taken over as interim chancellor.

As the calls for Malatras’ resignation grew, Boylan and other critics also took aim at Cuomo’s successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul, for failing to help remove Malatras from his powerful position.

“This is shameful @KathyHochul – particularly since you and your staff know exactly who @jimmaltras is and the harm he has done to so many,” Boylan tweeted.

In announcing Malatras’s resignation, the SUNY Board of Trustees said the former chancellor’s leadership helped the higher education institution “thrive” while serving nearly 400,000 students at 64 campuses. 

“He has been a champion for our students, for access, for equity, and for deeper public investment in this great institution,” the board said. “The entire board expresses our gratitude for his dedication and leadership.”

 

Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report. 

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