New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Communications Director Resigns

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a COVID-19 briefing on July 6, 2020 in New York City. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Peter Ajemian, the communications director for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), resigned Friday, adding to the list of growing departures from the governor’s office.

Ajemian’s last day of work was Friday. The former communications director will be replaced by Rich Azzopardi, who’s been a longtime chief adviser for the governor, according to an announcement. Azzopardi will be taking on a double role as communications director and chief adviser.

“After nearly four years, and with this year’s budget done and vaccine eligibility open to everyone, I decided now is the time to pursue opportunities in the private sector,” Ajemian said in a statement reported by Spectrum News.

“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 added.

Azzopardi said in a statement, “Peter has spent nearly four years in the administration taking on the hard challenges during even harder circumstances. … There’s nobody I’d rather be in the trenches with and know he’ll always be a part of Team Cuomo.”

Spectrum News noted, “at least nine former aides have left the administration over the past few months.” This includes Gareth Rhodes, who served as part of the governor’s coronavirus task force; Caitlin Girouard, a former press secretary for the governor; and Jack Sterne, who was the governor’s spokesman.

As recently reported by the Wall Street Journal, the state attorney general’s office has allegedly broadened the investigation of sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo.

According to the report, people familiar with the issue said:

Investigators have interviewed at least three Democratic county executives who said they were surprised to receive calls from Larry Schwartz, a volunteer adviser who oversaw vaccine distribution for the state, asking whether they would be calling for Mr. Cuomo’s resignation.

“Andrew Cuomo is a disgrace who should have resigned by now. The deadly nursing home order and cover-up is enough of a reason, but the rest of the scandals and investigations just keep piling up,” Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY), who has announced his candidacy for governor, said as the news broke.


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