Cuomo's secretary Melissa DeRosa resigned on Sunday in the wake of a state attorney general's report that the New York Governor sexually harassed 11 women.
A senior aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned on Sunday in the wake of a state attorney general's report that the governor sexually harassed 11 women.
"Personally, the past 2 years have been emotionally and mentally trying," said Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, in a statement on Sunday night. "I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such talented colleagues on behalf of our state," she added.
An investigative report released by the state attorney general's office last week details allegations by 11 women that painted "a picture of a pattern of abusive behavior by Cuomo and his senior staff," said state Attorney General Letitia James said, announcing the findings. The investigation concluded that Cuomo engaged in "unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous comments of a suggestive sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women."
Calls for resignation
Cuomo has thus far resisted widespread calls for his resignation, including from fellow Democrats such as President Joe Biden, but he could soon face impeachment and removal from office by state lawmakers.
A former assistant who filed a criminal complaint against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last week for allegedly groping her in the Executive Mansion in Albany will speak publicly for the first time in a televised interview to be broadcast on Monday, saying the governor "needs to be held accountable."
Brittany Commisso, identified as "executive assistant #1" in the report, told state investigators that Cuomo fondled her breast on one occasion, the most serious allegation the governor faces. She also said he rubbed her backside while taking a photo.
Cuomo and his top staff have been trying to cut a deal in recent days, telling top state officials that he won’t seek a fourth term to make impeachment talks go away but no one is buying it, sources familiar with the talks say. Unless Cuomo resigns, impeachment is a go. https://t.co/XOO5AqIsg0— Josefa Velásquez (@J__Velasquez) August 9, 2021
Last week, Commisso filed a criminal complaint with the Albany sheriff's office. The sheriff, Craig Apple, told reporters on Saturday his agency and the county district attorney's office would conduct a thorough investigation before determining whether a criminal charge is supported.
In her interview with CBS News and the Albany Times-Union that is scheduled to air on Monday, Commisso said she filed the report to hold Cuomo responsible for his actions.
"What he did to me was a crime," she said in an excerpt released by CBS on Sunday. "He broke the law."
Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing, though he has acknowledged that his efforts to be affectionate with people he encounters may have made some people uncomfortable.
His lawyer, Rita Glavin, told reporters on Friday that Commisso's account was fabricated, citing emails and other documentary evidence she said undermines her story.