Humane Society board members resign over CEO
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Seven members of the Humane Society of the U.S.'s (HSUS) board of directors resigned Thursday after the organization closed an investigation into sexual harassment claims surrounding the group's CEO.

The outgoing members confirmed their decision in an email to The Hill, saying it was directly in response to the organization's decision to keep CEO Wayne Pacelle after allegations of sexual misconduct.

The news comes after a Washington Post report found that senior women in the organization warned Pacelle about his behavior toward subordinates, donors and volunteers and said that his behavior threatened the group's work.


He is accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, including asking one woman to watch him masturbate and threatening her career if she reported the incident, the Post reported.

Pacelle denied those allegations and denied receiving any warnings about his behavior in a statement to the Post earlier this week.

“Absolutely not. I enjoy the support of senior women throughout the organization. No one has ever warned me of such a thing, ever," Pacelle said.

The decision could end up being unpopular with the HSUS's donors, some of whom were following the issue closely.

“I think Wayne Pacelle should do the right thing and resign,” said Rachel Perman, the director of charitable giving at Tofurky, in a statement to the Post. “I absolutely will not donate to HSUS if Wayne Pacelle is employed.”

HSUS declined to comment on the investigation or "rumors" in a statement to the Post on Monday.

“We do not have information that can be shared regarding the investigation, its findings, or board actions at this time,” the statement said. “We believe it is important to deal in substance and not rumors, and our process is designed to ensure confidentiality and fair consideration of these issues.”