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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s communications director Peter Ajemian resigned Friday, making him the latest to distance himself from the multiple scandals embroiling the New York governor.
Richard Azzopardi, the governor’s longtime advisor who has publicly gone to bat for him amid investigations into sexual harassment claims and into Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, will now wear another hat as communications director.
Ajemian took on the role not yet a year ago, in August 2020, when Dani Lever left for a job in the private sector. Ajemian says he too is leaving for the private sector after nearly four years with the governor’s office.
“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 unprecedented crisis and seeing the government work for the people and people work for each other,” Ajemian said in a statement, according to NY1.
Ajemian joins at least 9 former aides that have jumped ship over the past few months — including Gareth Rhodes, part of Cuomo’s Covid-19 task force, Caitlyn Girouard, the governor’s press secretary and Jack Sterne, a New York City-based Cuomo spokesman.
Azzopardi has gone after New York state attorney general Letitia James for being politically motivated amid her investigations into the governor. He told the New York Times last month the state government had “officially jumped the shark” with James’ new investigation into the governor’s alleged use of state resources to pen his memoir, “American Crisis.”
Cuomo has maintained that any help on his memoir that came from government employees was voluntary.
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“This is Albany politics at its worst,” Azzopardi continued. “Both the comptroller and the attorney general have spoken to people about running for governor, and it is unethical to wield criminal referral authority to further political self-interest.”
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