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Double blow for Cuomo | Daily Mail Online


Double blow for Cuomo: State attorney expands sexual harassment investigation to look at whether top aide linked access to COVID-19 vaccines to governor support AND his comms director quits

  •  Investigators have interviewed at least three Democratic county executives in the expanded probe
  •  Executives all reportedly told then they had been contacted by Larry Schwartz, a volunteer adviser who oversaw vaccine distribution for New York State
  • Schwartz asked them whether they would be calling for Mr. Cuomo’s resignation
  • Meanwhile, Cuomo’s comms director Peter Ajemian stepped down on Friday, to be replaced by Cuomo’s longtime chief adviser Rich Azzopardi 

Embattled Andrew Cuomo was dealt a double blow this week when the state attorney expanded the sexual harassment probe to investigate whether a  top aide linked access to the coronavirus vaccine to support for the governor – just as Cuomo’s communications director announced his resignation.

Investigators have interviewed at least three Democratic county executives in the expanded probe.

The executives all reportedly told then they had been contacted  by Larry Schwartz, a volunteer adviser who oversaw vaccine distribution for New York State who asked them whether they would be calling for Mr. Cuomo’s resignation.  

Meanwhile, Cuomo’s comms director Peter Ajemian stepped down on Friday, to be replaced by Cuomo’s longtime chief adviser Rich Azzopardi.

Ajemian has accepted a job outside of government.

Embattled Andrew Cuomo was dealt a double blow this week when the state attorney expanded the sexual harassment probe to investigate whether a top aide linked access to the coronavirus vaccine to support for the governor – just as Cuomo’s communications director announced his resignation.

‘After nearly four years, and with this year’s budget done and vaccine eligibility open to everyone, I decided now is the time to pursue opportunities in the private sector,’ Ajemian said in a statement.

‘I’m grateful to the governor for giving me the chance to serve. It’s been the honor of a lifetime to be part of a team working for New Yorkers in a period of un precedented crisis and seeing the government work for the people and people work for each other,’ he added.

Ajemian is the latest exit from Cuomo’s office in recent months including Gareth Rhodes, who served on Cuomo’s COVID-19 task force, former press secretary Caitlin Girouard and ex-Cuomo spokesman Jack Sterne.

The steady steam of resignations means a big shake up at Cuomo’s office. Dana Carotenuto has now been appointed Cuomo’s chief of staff. She was formerly deputy secretary for legislative affairs and policy. Jennifer Givner has been appointed acting press secretary and Haley Viccaro will serve as the state’s deputy communications director for energy and the environment.

Meanwhile, Ajemian’s replacement Azzopardi praised Ajemian, saying ‘he’ll always be a part of Team Cuomo.’

‘Peter has spent nearly four years in the administration taking on the hard challenges during even harder circumstances,’ he said. ‘There’s nobody I’d rather be in the trenches with and know he’ll always be a part of Team Cuomo.’

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