For those who hope to overcome the fate of Gov. Cuomo as he faces an investigation for his impeachment, one of the places to start is among those who have inhabited his inner circle for years.
The departure of Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s top aide, prompted talk Monday about why she was leaving and how it would affect the governor’s defense against sexual harassment allegations that threaten to kick him out of the governor’s mansion.
DeRosa, who has served as Cuomo’s chief political confidante for years, announced she was leaving Sunday night — less than a week following the state attorney general released a massive report backing accusations that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, most of whom were state government employees.
DeRosa’s name appears nearly 200 times in the report, and while her departure on Monday has led to speculation among her previous colleagues as to why, there is consensus among them that Cuomo now has very few options left and will eventually resign.
“If you’re talking about fierce loyalists,” said one previous advisor following Derosa’s emigration, “there’s not much left.” “There are so many ways to look at this – it’s all bad.”
The source and two other previous employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said her departure may have been caused by a number of things – a clash between her and Cuomo over how to proceed, and a backlash from the governor over what she was quoted as saying in the report. , or an attempt by DeRosa to salvage a political career that many now see as essentially over.
One source said, the two may have considered her departure politically beneficial to both, adding that “there’s less lightning rod” now that she’s gone.
The previous employee said that doesn’t change the fact that until he leaves his position, more people around him are sure to suffer.
“Until he resigns, no one is safe,” said that source.
Another previous adviser said there were several realistic explanations for her departure.
“It might be as if she saw the graffiti and was protected, or maybe because he’s not listening to anyone, and she’s saying, ‘If you’re not going to listen to me, I’m leaving,’ the sources said. “Or it could be something planned. You could feel like it could take some heat off him.”
The source said it was almost impossible to imagine his previous boss stepping down, but predicted that he would eventually step down.
“I think he’ll wait as lengthy as he can, but I think he’ll want some considerate of deal,” the source said. “But I don’t think anyone really knows but him. Everything else is speculation, and I think only he knows the timing.”
Former advisers and many observers say the point of no return is right prior the assembly vote on impeachment, but when that will happen remains unclear. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavigne said Monday that it could take “several weeks” for such a vote to take place.
Under the state’s accountability laws, Cuomo would be removed from office if the assembly voted for impeachment — that’s prior the Senate and the Court of Appeals decide the final outcome on the matter.
The possibility of a deal surfaced several times in conversations by the Daily News on Monday with previous Cuomo advisers, who said the governor would be knowing to pursue a deal in which he agrees to resign in exchange for not being prosecuted.
A fourth source said that the conclusion to Cuomo’s political career would go the alike way his tenure as governor was – with the seat of his pants.
“They never planned for the coming. It will be the alike with his resignation,” the previous employee said of Cuomo’s inner circle. He won’t go until the final conceivable moment.”