Former state Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn, who took a job as a policy advisor with the conservative Young Americans for Liberty last summer, called Wednesday for its leader to resign amidst an online flood of sexual allegations that has roiled the organization.

An hour later, the organization’s board of directors fired its president, saying that he had lost its confidence and could not remain at the helm.

Brakey called it “a necessary decision. Now we must rebuild — and in rebuilding must come stronger accountability structures.”

Eric Brakey campaigning in Norway last year. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Before Cliff Maloney’s termination, Brakey laid out the reasons he had to go.

“Nothing has shaken me more than the darkness that has been revealed this past week” about the libertarian group that has been a big part of his life for a decade, Brakey wrote on Twitter.

Brakey said he initially didn’t know what to make of the many charges lodged against Maloney, but when he heard directly from a former staffer on one of his campaigns “my confidence was shaken.”


With so many stories coming on under the hashtag #YALtoo sharing stories of misconduct, he said, “this dark reality has become impossible to ignore.”

Maloney, who hired Brakey as a development strategist last summer, has called the allegations against him “100% false” and urged an end to the “character assassinations” rocking the group’s leadership.

Some of the nonprofit’s most visible supporters, including former U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and Vermin Supreme of New Hampshire, have expressed concern about what’s happening to the group founded in 2008 to encourage political participation by young libertarians.

Brakey, who served two terms in the state Senate before running losing campaigns for both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, said on Twitter that he “encouraged my former campaign staffer to share her story” with the independent investigator hired by YAL and he urged other women with stories to speak up.

Brakey also issued an apology.

“To every woman who has experienced sexual misconduct at YAL, I want to tell you I am sorry the Liberty Movement has not been better,” he said. “None of this is acceptable. Accountability is necessary.”

Brakey said Maloney should resign rather than continuing to resist calls for his removal.

“Only once this chapter is closed,” he said, can the organization “begin to rebuild and put accountability structures in place to ensure this never happens again.”

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