- As a pair of scandals rock the Cuomo administration, at least eight staffers are on the way out.
- Two more staffers announced plans to leave on Friday, bringing the weekly total to eight.
- Notable departures include Gareth Rhodes, a former House candidate and fixture at Cuomo briefings.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Cuomo staffers are making their way for the exit doors as dueling scandals continue to hobble the New York governor’s administration.
With two aides announcing plans to leave on Friday, the weekly total is up to at least eight people who have declared their departures this week.
Six other Cuomo staffers announced plans to leave earlier this week, Anna Gonewold of Politico reported.
Current and former Cuomo staff members have been reckoning with their boss’ reported penchant for micromanagement and bullying being aired in the press over the past two weeks. “We’re all kind of waking up to the fact that we were in a cult,” one told Gothamist
Among the notable early week departures was Gareth Rhodes, who had been on Cuomo’s COVID-19 task force before announcing his plans earlier this week to return to his previous job as special counsel to the superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Rhodes, a former congressional candidate and the groom at the wedding where a third woman accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, did not cite the sexual harassment scandal as his reason for departing.
“Last week as I approached one year since moving to Albany to join the NYS Covid task force, I decided it was time, given the progress of the vaccination program and continued decline of Covid numbers, to return to my previous role at the Department of Financial Services and I informed the Governor’s senior staff at the time,” Rhodes told Politico.
Like Rhodes, other staffers have cited non-scandal-related reasons for changing posts.
Press secretary Caitlin Girouard left the administration on Friday, according to Bloomberg News, but did not respond to a request for comment to provide a reason.
Interim policy adviser Erin Hammond also left the governor’s office on Friday, though Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi told Bloomberg that exit had been planned for months so she could “focus on her family.”
Cuomo apologized for acting “in a way that made people feel uncomfortable” on Wednesday in his only on-camera appearance for the week, though he denied any non-consensual touching and refused to resign.
As more Democrats have called on Cuomo to resign, impeachment has gone from a remote possibility to being actively discussed, with several Democratic state lawmakers telling Insider that they’re open to impeaching him if he won’t step aside.