Andrew Cuomo’s communications director become latest staffer to resign

Andrew Cuomo’s communications director has become the latest member of the New York governor’s staff to resign in recent months.

Peter Ajemian’s departure from Mr Cuomo’s team came on Friday after just under a year in the role.

“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. I’m grateful to the Governor for giving me the chance to serve,” Mr Ajemian told The New York Post.

“It’s been the honour 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.”

At least nine people have announced plans to leave or have resigned from Mr Cuomo’s staff in recent months, amid a slew of sexual harassment allegations against the governor. However, in March the governor’s senior adviser Richard Azzopardi hit back at claims that staffers were abandoning their posts as a result of the allegations, which Mr Cuomo has denied.

“There’s a budget to be done in two weeks, the largest vaccination effort in state history to stand up and the continued efforts to successfully fight this once in a century pandemic and that’s what the hard-working members of this administration and the state workforce are focused on – period,” he told The Independent at the time.

The latest departure sees Mr Azzopardi replacing Mr Ajemian and stepping into the role of communications director, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“Mr. Azzopardi has been a member of this administration for nine years, previously serving as Senior Advisor to the Governor, Senior Deputy Communications Director, DeputyCommunications Director for Albany and Deputy Press Secretary for Albany. Prior to that, he was an aide in the New York State Senate and a newspaper reporter. He is replacing Peter Ajemian, who is leaving the administration to pursue a position in the private sector,” the statement said.

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