by Mary Margaret Olohan
The Young Americans for Liberty announced Wednesday that the organization has terminated its former President Cliff Maloney “effective immediately” following allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Losing the confidence of the board, YAL staff, and key stakeholders makes the ability to lead impossible and this action necessary,” the organization said in a statement.
“A comprehensive search for a new leader is underway,” the statement continued. “YAL is continuing its independent investigation into all allegations, as well as ways to improve the HR process, to ensure a culture of trust, safety, and accountability thrives within the organization.”
Maloney’s firing came after an onslaught of allegations about leaders associated with YAL posted on social media with the hashtag #YALtoo. These allegations also included vice president of grassroots, Justin Greiss, who is currently placed on leave until YAL completes its investigation into the allegations, Fox News reported.
Many of those who accused Maloney and Greiss said that YAL did not follow up with them about their accusations and instead continued to endorse those accused. The accusers also said that YAL’s workplace environment subjected them to demeaning comments, Fox reported.
— Addyson Rae Garner (@realPOTUS2040) January 9, 2021
Former YAL staffer, Twitter user Taylor Marie, said that Maloney asked her to bring him food in order to be alone with her. He then allegedly used his status to try to pressure her into having sexual relations with him.
— Taylor Marie (@Libertay1776) January 9, 2021
“He lectured me about loyalty to him, and that people who aren‘t loyal to him ‘don’t stick around long’ in the organization before asking me to come to bed with him,” Taylor Marie wrote. “To be clear, I didn’t. I actually gave him a chance, in tears, to take back what he said and apologize. He used that opportunity to make sexually demeaning comments about me instead.”
Maloney, who has served in his role at YAL since 2016 and is married, has denied the allegations and said they are “100% false.”
“Serious accusations and misconduct will always be addressed at YAL,” he said, according to Fox. “Character assassinations against a team of liberty advocates who work around the clock for our cause must stop.”
YAL Spokeswoman Emma Meshell Phillips expressed “shock and disgust” over the allegations, noting that she had spent over a year traveling with Maloney “helping him raise money, and promoting for his leadership at YAL in the media.”
“To think there were victims who witnessed me do so, while I was ignorant to his behavior, is devastating. I am so sorry,” she said.
“It should not have taken a social media movement for these changes to be made,” she continued. “The ‘proper channels’ have failed. And an ongoing discussion is being had at YAL about how we can make sure that never happens again.”
YAL North East Deputy Regional Director Matthew Castaneda also expressed “shock” in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“These ongoing allegations are evidence our organization needs to make systemic changes going forward,” Castaneda said. “It’s my hope that the YAL Board takes these allegations seriously and makes all necessary changes as we continue to advance the Liberty movement.”
Zeb Harshbarger, who serves as YAL’s PA State Chair, told the DCNF that he is happy with the decision.
“Sexual misconduct has no place in the liberty movement and that includes people who are considered leaders,” Harshbarger told the DCNF.
YAL did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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Mary Margaret Olohan is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation. Bradley Stein contributed to this report.
Photo “Cliff Maloney” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.