ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) —  James Malatras, the Chancellor of New York’s State University system, will step down effective January 14, 2022.

Malatras had come under increasing pressure to step down after recent reports of alleged abusive behavior on the part of the Chancellor prior to becoming the head of SUNY.

Malatras noted that the motivation for his resignation was that the turmoil over the allegations against him “have become a distraction over the important work that needs to be accomplished as SUNY emerges from COVID-19.”

Calls for Malatras to resign have increased over reports that his actions in state government contributed to the toxic work environment alleged by accusers of former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Those reports included New York State Attorney General Letitia James investigation of Cuomo and messages from Malatras in that report. In the A.G.’s report it is noted that Malatras had recommended the release of emails from Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan in an attempt to portray Boylan in a bad light.

As the head of the SUNY system, Malatras not only was the head of the state’s higher education institutions, it put him at the forefront of one of the state’s major economic development tools. Under Andrew Cuomo, SUNY schools became part of an economic development program whereby the state help fund business projects on or adjacent to SUNY campuses and the host school would develop a curriculum to support the business operation. The concept worked well at the SUNY Polytechnic Institutes locations in Albany and Marcy. However, there were bid rigging allegations about some of the Albany projects and several convictions were attained.