Cuomo’s Top Aide, Melissa DeRosa, Resigns as He Fights to Survive

The Trooper’s new allegation crippled one of the strategies the governor and his allies were trying to employ, and made it next to impossible to dismiss the report as simply heated-up allegations. The attorney general’s office opened the investigation after allegations against several women emerged in February and March.

Following the report, Ms. DeRosa stated that Mr. Cuomo was no longer able to remain in office and that she was no longer willing to appear in public as his defense counsel, one of the people said, asking for anonymity to discuss private conversations in the middle of a criminal investigation against the governor.

Ms. DeRosa briefed the governor on Sunday of her decision to resign, the person said. Neither Ms. DeRosa nor any of her lawyers responded to a request for further comments. A spokesman for the governor, Richard Azzopardi, did not respond to a request for comment either.

Mr Cuomo has denied touching anyone inappropriately, saying that some of the 11 women who accused him of molesting may have interpreted his jokes, hugs and kisses on the cheek as inappropriate. His attorneys have launched a rigorous on-camera defense, describing Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation as biased, hasty and sloppy.

Ms. DeRosa announced her resignation the night before an interview with one of Mr. Cuomo’s accusers, Brittany Commisso, was due to air on CBS This Morning.

Ms. Commisso, an executive assistant who remained anonymous until Sunday, accused Mr. Cuomo of palpating her chest late last year while they were alone in the Executive Mansion, one of the most serious lawsuits brought against the governor. She filed a criminal complaint with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, raising the possibility that Mr. Cuomo could face criminal prosecution.

As the governor’s secretary, Ms. DeRosa was the most powerful civil servant in the state. When Mr. Cuomo appointed her to the post in 2017, she was one of the youngest people to hold that position and the first woman to hold that position. She joined the Cuomo administration in 2013 as communications director and was promoted to chief of staff two years later.

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