ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The board of directors for a champion Pennsylvania-based drum and bugle corps stepped down following the resignation of the group’s director amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Youth Education in the Arts board members voted to resign Tuesday night, according to a Wednesday announcement by the Allentown Cadets. A new board was appointed to take their place, and Doug Rutherford is the new chairman.
The old board faced pressure to step down after nine women accused former Cadets leader George Hopkins of sexual harassment or abuse.
Hopkins’ accusers ranged from 16 to 37 at the time of the abuse they say they endured, according to a previous report by Philly.com. Three were members of The Cadets and five worked for Youth Education in the Arts.
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Hopkins resigned Thursday. The 61-year-old is not facing any charges and denies criminal wrongdoing.
Drum and bugle corps perform routines that combine music, marching, dancing and color guards. The Cadets has been a longtime top program, with previous performances including the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, President Barack Obama’s first inaugural parade and “Late Night with David Letterman.”
Hopkins became director in 1982 and coached the team to 10 world titles.
Rutherford, a former member of the Cadets program, said Wednesday the allegations against Hopkins are “very disturbing and shocking.”
The incoming board said it is working with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network to develop policies and training.