A top aide to New York state’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, has resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal involving her boss. The resignation comes amid a report that found Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, leaving the governor without his top aide as he faces the prospect of impeachment. DeRosa often defended Cuomo when he faced public criticism.
The report by the state’s Attorney General Letitia James found that Mr Cuomo had sexually harassed multiple women and violated state and federal law. Ms DeRosa was mentioned in the report 187 times in the 168-page report. It accused her of efforts to cover up the governor’s actions and retaliating against one of his accusers. Her statement on Sunday did not address the allegations. “Personally, the past two years have been emotionally and mentally trying. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such talented colleagues on behalf of our state,” she said. She also said working for the people of New York “has been the greatest honour of my life”. Meanwhile, Mr Cuomo denies any wrongdoing and has vowed to stay in office but he could soon face impeachment. About two-thirds of state Assembly members have already said they favor an impeachment trial if he refuses to resign. Nearly all 63 members of the state Senate have called for Cuomo to step down or be removed.
Investigators spend five months speaking to nearly 200 people, including staff members and some of those who made complaints against him. Tens of thousands of documents, texts and pictures were reviewed as part of the inquiry. After its release, President Joe Biden called for Mr Cuomo to resign.