Cuomo’s best aide Melissa DeRosa quits as he fights to survive
The soldier’s new allegation crippled one of the strategies the governor and his allies were about to use, making it virtually impossible to dismiss the report as mere rehashed accusations. The attorney general opened the investigation after allegations by several women surfaced in February and March.
As a result of the report, Ms DeRosa determined that Mr Cuomo no longer had an opportunity to remain in office and that she would no longer be willing to stand up in public as an advocate, one of the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss private conversations amid criminal investigations into the governor.
Andrew Cuomo resigns
Ms DeRosa informed the governor of her decision to step down earlier on Sunday, the person said. Neither Ms DeRosa nor any of her attorneys responded to a request for further comment. A spokesman for the governor, Richard Azzopardi, also did not respond to a request for comment.
Mr Cuomo denied touching anyone inappropriately and said some of the 11 women who accused him of harassment may have misinterpreted his jokes, hugs and kisses on the cheek as inappropriate. Her lawyers went on camera to mount a tough defense, describing the investigation by state attorney general Letitia James as one-sided, rushed and sloppy.
Ms DeRosa announced her resignation the day before an interview with one of Mr Cuomo’s accusers, Brittany Commisso, was broadcast on “CBS This Morning”.
Ms Commisso, an executive assistant who had remained anonymous until Sunday, accused Mr Cuomo of groping her chest while they were alone in the executive mansion late last year, one of the complaints the most serious brought against the governor. She filed a criminal complaint with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, raising the possibility that Mr. Cuomo could face criminal charges.
As the governor’s secretary, Ms. DeRosa was the most powerful appointed official in the state. When Mr. Cuomo appointed her to this position in 2017, she became one of the youngest to hold the position and the first woman to hold the position. She joined the Cuomo administration in 2013 as director of communications and was promoted two years later to chief of staff.