Cuomo aide denies staff are abandoning their posts as pressure mounts for governor to resign

A senior adviser to the governor has said that reports claiming that staffers are abandoning work amid scandals concerning Andrew Cuomo are “greatly exaggerated.”

The New York Post reported on Saturday that disillusioned staffers are abandoning their posts amid allegations of sexual harassment targeted at Mr Cuomo, but in a statement to The Independent, Richard Azzopardi, a senior advisor to the governor, refuted this.

“There’s a budget to be done in two weeks, the largest vaccination effort in state history to stand up and the continued efforts to successfully fight this once in a century pandemic and that’s what the hard-working members of this administration and the state workforce are focused on – period,” he said.

The governor has denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

“I hear that most people aren’t even coming into work, and the offices at the Capitol are empty,” one source told The New York Post.

“He’ll fight and fight and fight, but the staffers I’ve talked to are ready for him to hang up the gloves. Everyone feels like there is an inevitable conclusion, I mean at some point will Biden call on him to step down? They just want this torture to stop.”

An ex-Cuomo aide added to The Post: “I feel a level of rage toward this fake tough guy. The guy thinks he’s the toughest, the hardest working, he’s the smartest. The truth is, he’s anything but. He’s the weakest, he’s the dumbest, and he’s the most shallow of them all. He is genuinely a very small man who pretends to be big.”

The former aide added that many staffers are choosing to work remotely or from vaccination centres, concerned that their careers might be at risk.

The ex-aide shared a text with the paper that they received from a current Cuomo-staffer that read: “He has to resign now right? (I say for the 15th time this week).”

New York Post sources say they hear from staffers that they want Mr Cuomo gone and that they believe the accusers who say he’s a perpetrator of sexual harassment.

The ex-aide said: “There’s a deep sense within the governor’s staff that he is guilty of everything, and that is weighing on people. He had that conversation with Charlotte Bennett. Everyone knows that. Everyone believes that full stop and there’s not a single person who believes she’s telling a word that’s off.”

At least five aides to the governor have resigned in the last two weeks.

Last month, the governor released a statement denying he had done anything wrong. However, he said: “I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”

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