New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa announced her resignation on Sunday evening, days after a state attorney general report described her role in efforts to discredit Lindsey Boylan, one of eleven women accusing the governor of sexual harassment.
“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of New York for the past 10 years. New Yorkers’ resilience, strength, and optimism through the most difficult times has inspired me every day,” DeRosa said in a statement. “Personally, the past 2 years have been emotionally and mentally trying.”
New York attorney general Letitia James’s report concluded that Governor Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law.” The governor is facing an impeachment probe by state lawmakers, and DeRosa has concluded that there is no way for Cuomo to remain in office, a person familiar with discussions among Cuomo aides told the New York Times. Cuomo has denied the allegations against him.
The report detailed that DeRosa was involved in efforts to leak personnel files on Boylan, a former economic development aide who in December 2020 became the first woman to accuse Cuomo of harassment. DeRosa was also involved in the drafting process for a letter that “impugned [Boylan’s] credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated,” according to the report, although that letter was ultimately never released.
DeRosa joined the Cuomo administration as communications director in 2013. In 2017 Cuomo appointed her as secretary to the governor.
DeRosa was also among Cuomo aides involved in rewriting a state health department report in June 2020 to remove the number of coronavirus-related deaths in New York nursing homes, the Times reported earlier this year.