New York (AFP)
A senior aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned on Sunday, US media reported, as the network closed further around a once influential politician now facing the possibility of criminal charges for claiming to have sexually harassed 11 former and current government employees.
Melissa DeRosa had been the troubled governor’s secretary since 2017 and had long been described by New York media as one of her closest confidants.
But in her resignation letter on Sunday – obtained by several US media outlets – she said the past two years had been “emotionally and mentally trying.”
“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of New York for the past 10 years. The resilience, strength and optimism of New Yorkers in the most difficult times has inspired me every day, ”she said.
His resignation comes just days after a woman accusing the governor of groping her filed a criminal complaint against him, increasing the likelihood of his being indicted.
The woman, who has not been named but works as Cuomo’s assistant, said the three-term governor assaulted her at her executive mansion last year.
His claim was part of an explosive report released this week that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 former and current state employees.
This report also named DeRosa as part of a loyalist group working to retaliate against a woman who accused the governor of harassment.
The veteran Democrat has repeatedly denied touching a woman inappropriately.
He has rejected calls from President Joe Biden and other leading Democrats to step down, and state lawmakers are set to impeach him.
Cuomo was first praised for his handling of the coronavirus crisis before being engulfed in accusations he covered the scale of nursing home deaths – a scandal in which DeRosa was also involved.
© 2021 AFP