© Reuters. A sign is pictured by the fence of the governor’s mansion after an independent investigation found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually molested several women and violated federal and state laws on August 7, 2021 in Albany, New York, United States. REUTERS / Cindy S.
(Reuters) – A senior advisor to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned Sunday after an attorney general reported the governor sexually molested 11 women.
Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, was linked in the report to efforts to cover up the governor’s actions and seek revenge against one of his accusers. In the 168-page report released Tuesday, her name was mentioned 187 times.
“Personally, the last 2 years have been emotionally and mentally demanding. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented colleagues on behalf of our state,” DeRosa said in a statement.
The report found that Cuomo groped, kissed or made suggestive comments in violation of the law, prompting local prosecutors to open a criminal investigation and rekindling calls for his resignation or removal from office.
Cuomo has so far opposed widespread demands for his resignation, including from other Democrats like President Joe Biden, but he could face impeachment and impeachment by state lawmakers soon.
The New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee has scheduled a meeting on Monday at 9:30 am EDT (1330 GMT) to consider the impeachment proceedings.
Meanwhile, a former assistant who filed a criminal complaint against Cuomo last week on allegations of groping her at the Executive Mansion in Albany speaks publicly for the first time in a television interview aired Monday and says the governor “Must be held”. responsible.”
Brittany Commisso, one of the 11 women Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment, was identified only as “Executive Assistant No. 1” in the report.
She told state investigators that Cuomo stroked her chest once, the most serious allegation the governor has faced. She also said he rubbed her bum while he was taking a picture.
Last week she filed a criminal complaint with the Albany Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff, Craig Apple (NASDAQ :), told reporters Saturday that his agency and the district attorney’s office would conduct a thorough investigation before determining whether a criminal charge was supported.
In an interview with CBS News and the Albany Times-Union scheduled to air Monday morning, Commisso said she filed the report to hold Cuomo responsible for his actions.
“What he did to me was a crime,” she said in an excerpt released by CBS on Sunday. “He broke the law.”
Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing, although he has admitted that his efforts to be loving with people he meets may have made some people uncomfortable.
His attorney, Rita Glavin, told reporters Friday that Commisso’s account was faked, citing emails and other documentary evidence that she believed was undermining her story.
In another excerpt released by CBS, Commisso said the occasional hugs and kisses on the cheek escalated when Cuomo once quickly turned his head and kissed her on the lips.
But she said “nothing” at the time, said Commisso.
“People don’t understand that this is the governor of New York State. There are soldiers who are outside the mansion and there are some mansion staff. Those soldiers who are there are not there to protect me there to protect him, “said Commisso.