New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, pictured here at a press conference March 27, 2020
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's top aide, Melissa DeRosa, has resigned. AFP / Bryan R. Smith


  • The AG report revealed DeRosa’s alleged involvement in retaliating against a Cuomo accuser
  • DeRosa became the first female top aide to the governor after her appointment in 2017
  • Cuomo strongly denies any wrongdoing and vows to stay in office despite resignation calls

Melissa DeRosa, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide for the last four years, has stepped down from her position amid increased criticism of the governor following the unveiling of a report regarding his alleged sexual harassment of multiple women.

In a statement announcing her resignation, DeRosa said “the past two years have been emotionally and mentally trying,” and added that it was “the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of New York for the past 10 years,” the Associated Press reported.

DeRosa’s resignation came less than a week after New York Attorney General Letitia James released the results of her office’s five-month investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo. The report alleged that DeRosa was involved in retaliating against Lindsey Boylan, who was among Cuomo’s accusers. Boylan has since released a detailed account of her experience working under Cuomo.

Boylan, a former economic development official, accused the Democratic governor of sexual harassment in December. James’ investigators alleged that DeRosa also instructed a former state staffer to dig for information and record a phone conversation with a female staff member who supported Boylan as the latter voiced her allegations on Twitter.

DeRosa became a member of the Cuomo administration in 2013. She soon became one of the New York governor’s confidantes and was promoted to chief of staff in 2015. She was appointed as Cuomo’s top aide in 2017, the New York Times reported. The 38-year-old secretary to Cuomo was often seen accompanying the governor during pandemic briefings. She was the first woman appointed as secretary to the governor.

Earlier this year, Cuomo’s team was accused of downplaying the real number of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes. An email from DeRosa addressed to employees emerged during the time the Cuomo administration was under fire for the nursing home deaths. The email reportedly did not mention anything regarding the sexual harassment allegations on Cuomo, nor the matter of the alleged cover-up on nursing home death counts.

The embattled politician has strongly denied the allegations. In a release on the New York governor’s official website, Cuomo said he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”

Following the AG's report, President Joe Biden and other Democrats have called on Cuomo to resign but the latter has refused to do so, saying he will “not be distracted” from performing his responsibilities as New York governor.

A screen shows news coverage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo following revelations over allegations of sexual harassment, in Times Square on August 3, 2021
A screen shows news coverage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo following revelations over allegations of sexual harassment, in Times Square on August 3, 2021 AFP / Ed JONES