New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to the media at a news conference in Manhattan on May 5, 2021 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | AFP | Getty Images
A top aide to embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned Sunday, saying in a statement that the last two years have been “emotionally and mentally trying.”
Melissa DeRosa resigned as secretary to the governor as Cuomo faces calls to step down after New York’s attorney general released a report less than a week ago alleging that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and violated state and federal laws.
Cuomo, who has resisted calls to resign from top Democratic lawmakers and President Joe Biden, has denied the allegations.
In a video clip released Sunday, one of Cuomo’s accusers said on “CBS This Morning” that she believed she was listed first in the attorney general’s report because her allegations were the most egregious of those of all the women who have come forward.
The woman, Brittany Commisso, identified in the report as Executive Assistant #1, said she was groped and harassed by Cuomo, a Democrat in his third term.
“He groped me, he touched me, not only once but twice, and I don’t think that had happened to any of the other women, the touching,” she said.
DeRosa disclosed this year that the administration took months to release data about the state’s coronavirus death toll because officials “froze” over worries that the information was “going to be used against us.”
State Attorney General Letitia James revealed that the State Health Department had underreported Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent. Federal investigators launched a preliminary inquiry into how the administration handled the data in February.
The inquiry began after DeRosa made her comments, people familiar with the matter have told NBC News, although it isn’t clear whether DeRosa is a subject of that investigation.
In her statement Sunday, she said she was “forever grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such talented and committed colleagues on behalf of our state.”