Melissa DeRosa, top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, resigned from her position Sunday following a bombshell report from the state's Attorney General concluding that the governor had sexually harassed multiple women.
DeRosa said in a statement Sunday evening, "It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of New York for the past 10 years. She added that, "Personally, the past two years have been emotionally and mentally trying."
According to The New York Times, DeRosa, 38, joined the Cuomo administration in 2013 as communications director, and climbed the ladder to become "the most powerful appointed official in the state." The Times described her as Cuomo’s "right-hand woman.”
DeRosa was mentioned 187 times in the 168 page state Attorney General Letitia James’s investigative report. DeRosa requested the "full file" of Cuomo accuser Lindsay Boylan after Boylan accused the Governor of being "one of the biggest abusers of all time." Boylan ran for Manhattan Borough President before conceding in June 2021.
The report also found that DeRosa was involved in circulating a proposed op-ed, originally drafted by Cuomo, which contained "personal and professional attacks" on Boylan, and then shared it with current and former Executive Chamber employees.
Investigators said, "The draft letter or op-ed attacking Ms. Boylan — particularly when combined with the release of the confidential internal records to the press — constitutes retaliation."
In December 2020, when Boylan accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her, DeRosa was involved in releasing confidential files about Boylan to media outlets in an attempt to smear her.
Investigators also alleged that DeRosa and other top aides, stalled reporting former staffer Charlotte Bennett’s complaints to the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, which required an immediate response under state law. DeRosa also allegedly tried to dismiss reporting about a state trooper who accused the governor of sexually harassing her.
DeRosa told state Democrats, during a Zoom call last year, that the Cuomo administration withheld the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths from the legislature. Assemblyman Ron Kim of Queens, one of the Democrats on the call, told CNN that, Cuomo called him "to threaten my career if I did not cover up for Melissa [DeRosa] and what she said."
Following the announcement of the report, President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) all called on Cuomo to resign.
Approximately two-thirds of the New York State Assembly members have stated they favor an impeachment trial if the Governor refuses to resign. Almost all of the members of the state Senate have called for Cuomo to resign or be removed from office.
A New York State Assembly committee is expected to meet Monday to discuss possible impeachment proceedings. "CBS This Morning" is scheduled to broadcast the first TV interview of the executive assistant who accused Cuomo of groping her.