Resignation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's top aide
Steph Deschamps / August 9, 2021
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's top aide resigned Sunday, according to U.S. media reports, as the noose tightens around the once-influential politician, who may face sexual harassment charges in court.
Melissa DeRosa, the governor's secretary since 2017, has long been touted by New York media as one of his closest confidants. But in her resignation letter - obtained by several U.S. media outlets - she said the past two years had been emotionally and mentally taxing. It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of New York these past ten years. The resilience, strength and optimism of New Yorkers in the most difficult of times has inspired me every day, she said. Her resignation comes just days after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against the governor and an explosive report was released closing an independent investigation in which 11 women accused him of similar conduct. The complainant, anonymized as Executive Assistant #1 in the report, complained of several inappropriate and indecent gestures since late 2019 by the governor, who denied the accusations. Released on August 3, the damning report that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 female employees is the result of an investigation by the office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
The report also named Ms. DeRosa as part of a support group seeking to retaliate against a woman who had accused the governor of harassment. Governor of New York State since 2011, re-elected in 2014 and 2018, Andrew Cuomo, 63, has consistently denied his guilt, assuring that he has never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. The complaint opens the door to possible legal action for the governor, whom many Democratic allies, up to President Joe Biden, have called on to resign, and who is also the subject of a procedure in the New York State Legislature that could lead to his impeachment.