Top Cuomo Aide Melissa DeRosa Resigns

By Mary Margaret Olohan Published on August 9, 2021

A top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned from her position following the release of an investigation by the New York attorney general’s office into #MeToo allegations against the governor.

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of New York for the past 10 years. New Yorkers’ resilience, strength, and optimism through the most difficult times has inspired me every day,” secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa said in a statement, according to CNN.

“Personally, the past 2 years have been emotionally and mentally trying. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such talented and committed colleagues on behalf of our state,” she said, according to CNN.

DeRosa’s statement did not mention Cuomo by name or specify why she was leaving, but a source working in the governor’s executive chamber described to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Friday a culture of anger and frustration in the governor’s office, as employees attempt to serve the state of New York amid the chaos of the #MeToo allegations.

“If I weren’t as sure as I am that he will be impeached, I would leave,” the source said regarding Cuomo. “And if he doesn’t get impeached for some reason, I will leave. Honestly, the press team here is comprised of amazing people, but working for a man like that is against everything I believe in and I believe the women who have come forward.”

The investigation released Tuesday found that the governor had “sexually harassed a number of State employees through unwelcome and unwanted touching, as well as by making numerous offensive and sexually suggestive comments” and that this conduct “was part of a pattern of behavior that extended to his interactions with others outside of State government.”

The report repeatedly mentioned DeRosa, who played a prominent role in responding to allegations against the governor and has been one of his closest advisers for years. State employees told investigators that DeRosa screamed and yelled at her subordinates and that both Cuomo and other members of the staff referred to her as one of the “mean girls.”

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DeRosa is also implicated in an investigation into the Cuomo administration knowingly undercounting nursing home deaths.

Though the DCNF reported in May 2020 that Cuomo had knowingly undercounted nursing home deaths, the governor did not face major pushback on the matter until DeRosa admitted to New York lawmakers in February that Cuomo’s administration withheld the number of deaths, fearing federal prosecutors would use the numbers against the state.

Following DeRosa’s comments, major media began to report on the nursing home scandal, and a slew of accusers came forward against the governor with allegations of inappropriate conduct, touching, and assault.

Cuomo denied Tuesday that he ever inappropriately touched anyone, and said those attacking him are discrediting “legitimate” victims of harassment. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF Monday.

 

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