New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing a critical week that could determine his political future and it’s not off to a good start after the sudden resignation of a top aide who stepped down late Sunday night.
Melissa DeRosa, who has been described as Cuomo’s most loyal aide, jumped ship; her departure comes less than a week after the governor’s office was rocked by the release of a report detailing the results of a state investigation into the numerous allegations brought by female subordinates that Cuomo acted in an inappropriate manner toward them including making sexual overtures.
The report by Attorney General Letitia James’ office was devastating to Cuomo, finding that the governor engaged in“unwanted groping, kissing, hugging and making inappropriate comments,” the report mentioned DeRosa 187 times.
Known as “Cuomo’s enforcer,” DeRosa was glowingly described by the governor himself as one his “mean girls” and participated in efforts to smear and discredit accusers, notably former aide Lindsey Boylan who was the first woman to step forward with allegations last year.
The New York Post reported that DeRosa “decided to shop” confidential files to the media including Boylan’s personnel record as a response to her tweets which quickly became a serious problem for Cuomo by opening the door for other victims to tell their own stories about the alleged abuses that they suffered.
DeRosa issued a statement announcing her resignation.
Melissa DeRosa was Andrew Cuomo’s Frau Farbissina. She made the toxic culture more toxic, the harassment more harassing, the intimidation more intimidating, and the abuse more abusive. Good riddance. https://t.co/kcR6j3xDuA
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) August 9, 2021
“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of New York for the past 10 years,” she said in a statement. “New Yorkers’ resilience, strength, and optimism through the most difficult times has inspired me everyday.” she wrote, “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.”
It doesn’t get any better for Cuomo either; CBS will be airing an exclusive interview with Brittany Commisso, his former executive assistant whom he allegedly groped, which will kick off the news cycle on Monday morning. “What he did to me was a crime,” she said, “He broke the law.”
CBS THIS MORNING EXCLUSIVE: The aide who accused NY Gov. Cuomo of groping her speaks publicly for the first time: "What he did to me was a crime," Brittany Commisso tells @CBSThisMorning & @timesunion. "He broke the law." Watch Monday at 7a, only on CBS. https://t.co/W9SGPNSf1S pic.twitter.com/kRulD0ViUD
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 8, 2021
Not in the attorney general report but perhaps even more damning for DeRosa is that she also engaged in a cover-up of Cuomo’s disastrous decision to send COVID-infected patients into New York’s nursing homes resulting in the spread of the virus to the state’s most vulnerable citizens, thousands of whom perished as a result of his policies.
In February, the New York Post reported that DeRosa admitted that the governor’s office deliberately concealed nursing home data from the federal government before the election out of concern that the potential for a massive scandal would have aided former President Donald J. Trump’s reelection campaign.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) February 12, 2021
According to the New York Post: “The stunning admission of a coverup was made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.”
She believed that Trump would pounce on the nursing home deaths to attack other Dem governors; “He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”
Cuomo is facing mounting calls for his resignation coming from top Democrats and liberal celebrities including Bill Maher as well as a suggestion from President Joe Biden himself that it may be a good idea for the Albany strongman to step down.
DeRosa’s resignation is only going to add fuel to the fire under Cuomo’s smoking hot seat.
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