Who is Melissa DeRosa? Andrew Cuomo's 'evil' aide discredited sexual harassment accusers

Andrew Cuomo's aide Melissa DeRosa's school friend and GOP Rep Elise Stefanik called her 'an unelected sycophant hack funded by the NY taxpayer'

                            Who is Melissa DeRosa? Andrew Cuomo's 'evil' aide discredited sexual harassment accusers
Melissa DeRosa is the secretary of NY Guv Andrew Cuomo and one of the biggest Cuomo loyalists (Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

“She is a ruthless, heartless, evil human being who will rip your heart out in order to get what she wants,” an insider source says about Melissa DeRosa, the secretary to embattled New York governor Andrew Cuomo. DeRosa's name has surfaced amid Cuomo's sexual harassment row, as she is being lambasted for attempting to suppress the scandal. A source close to Cuomo's office asserted that DeRosa has "more enemies" than even the governor himself. 

From discrediting women who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, to creating a "toxic, abusive" workplace environment, DeRosa has been dubbed as one of the biggest Cuomo loyalists. She was reportedly close friends with GOP Representative Elise Stefanik from her school days, but her "ferocious dedication" to Cuomo even destroyed her friendship with the No. 3 House Republican. In a series of furious tweets, Stefanik went on to call Melissa DeRosa “an unelected sycophant hack funded by the NY taxpayer", and also accused her of downplaying Cuomo's role in the sexual harassment issue.  


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DeRosa hails from Albany, New York, and is a former student of Albany Academy for Girls, which was attended by Elise Stefanik as well. She is also an alumnus of Cornell University and had managed former president Barack Obama's national political organization before joining Cuomo's office as a communications director. Often hailed as New York's most powerful non-elected official, DeRosa does not quite have a favorable reputation among other employees. And this was long before the sexual misconduct allegations against Cuomo surfaced this year. 

A former Executive Chamber from the NY Governor's office described her as "the worst person I have ever worked for in my entire professional career.” They further added, "She doesn’t have time for niceties. She doesn’t have time to get to know you as a person. You are either an individual who gets something done for her — or you’re in her way.”

Andrew Cuomo with Melissa DeRos

“I would have to think long and hard to find anyone who would say nice things about her. She doesn’t treat people well. She would dress people down for no reason or over minor stuff,” another former employee told New York Post about her. 

According to the investigative report by Attorney General Letitia James, which proves Cuomo's role in sexually harassing over 11 women, Cuomo's office reportedly had a toxic and unfavorable work environment that started with DeRosa. 

Sources close to the governor's office hinted at the 38-year-old secretary's role in hindering an unsustainable process of governance, while one person also stated that she has more enemies than Cuomo. Reportedly, DeRosa tried to discredit former Cuomo aide and his very first accuser Lindsey Boylan. Investigation revealed that DeRosa leaked complaints from Boylan's personnel file to reporters. She even justified her action by citing Boylan's furious tweets about the governor where she dubbed him as "one of the biggest abusers of all time". She engaged in victim-shaming and circulated an op-ed by Cuomo which contained "personal and professional attacks" on Boylan. Presently, Boylan is planning to file a retaliation suit against Cuomo and his aides, which possibly includes DeRosa. 

A state trooper who accused Cuomo of unwanted touching and offensive remarks was also discredited by DeRosa. She even went to the extent of trying to kill her story by yelling at an editor of Albany Times Union. 

Aside from her alleged role in supporting Cuomo blindly, an exclusive recording mentioned in Letitia James' reports states that DeRosa secretly admitted how Cuomo's administration withheld the actual number of nursing home deaths in Covid-19. 

Despite all the allegations against DeRosa that are surfacing now, Cuomo's spokesperson Rich Azzopardi heavily defended her. "No amount of cheap, gutless character assassination by anonymous sources with an ax to grind will erase the good Melissa has done for the people of New York," Azzopardi said, adding, “Because of her hard work, the minimum wage is $15, [in-vitro fertilization] is covered by insurance and paid family leave, free public college tuition and gestational surrogacy, among other key reforms, are the law of the land.”

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