Kumiki Gibson, Counsel to the Governor, is leaving her post as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) top lawyer as her embattled boss is marred in scandal sparked by his handling of coronavirus death data regarding his state’s nursing homes and allegations of sexual harassment brought forth by former aides.
“I informed the Executive Chamber a month ago that I planned to leave State service and have accepted a position at a nationally prominent not-for-profit organization,” Gibson said in a statement obtained by the New York Post. “It has been an honor and privilege to work for the Governor and the people of the State of New York. I remain deeply impressed with the talent and dedication of my legal team and will forever be grateful for having the opportunity to serve New Yorkers.”
Gibson, who joined the Cuomo administration in since September 2019, is slated to leave her post after less than two years on the job.
Gibson isn’t the only Cuomo aide to depart in recent days. On Friday, the Cuomo administration announced that press secretary Caitlin Girouard and interim policy adviser Erin Hammond had departed.
“Caitlin is a world-class, top-flight communications professional who is well respected in New York, Washington, and beyond,” Cuomo communications director Peter Ajemian said in a statement. “She’s been a real rock for our press shop, especially during the past year fighting the pandemic, and we wish her nothing but the best in her next chapter.”
Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, said Hammond had planned to exit her role months ago.
“Her departure allows her to focus on her family,” said Azzopardi.
It’s the latest blow for Cuomo, who’s been besieged by a one-two punch of scandals involving his handling of nursing home deaths and accusations that he sexually harassed two former aides and a woman that he met at a wedding he officiated.
Cuomo had apologized Wednesday for acting “in a way that made people feel uncomfortable” but rejected calls for his resignation and said he would fully cooperate with the state attorney general’s investigation into the sexual harassment allegations. Federal investigators are scrutinizing his administration’s handling of nursing home data.
Top Democrats in the state have said they want those investigations to conclude before they make a judgment about Cuomo’s conduct, but in the wake of Thursday night’s report, a few state lawmakers renewed calls for the governor to either resign or be ousted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.