State trooper sues Cuomo, DeRosa, and Azzopardi
Brendan J. Lyons reports in the Times Union that attorneys for a State Police investigator filed a federal lawsuit against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, former Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo's former spokesperson Richard Azzopardi, and the State Police. The 31-year-old State Police investigator's name is being kept out of the story by the Times Union, as she alleges Cuomo sexually harassed and inappropriately touched her. That came after a former Cuomo aide told State Police to change the rules so that the trooper would qualify to be placed on the former governor's protective detail. Azzopardi was not in the lawsuit filed Feb. 17, but was added Feb. 18 after he Tweeted remarks attacking her legal team. Cuomo resigned as governor last year after 11 women accused him of sexual harassment. Azzopardi said Feb. 17 that Cuomo will "fight every attempt at cheap cash extortions and is anxious to have the dirty politics stop — we look forward to justice in a court of law." Paul Schectman, an attorney for DeRosa, said, that "according to the trooper’s own testimony Melissa’s only interaction with her was to say 'hello and goodbye.' It is not a viable case anywhere in America and is beyond frivolous." The Times Union previously reported that, "the female trooper had moved up in the ranks of Cuomo's protective detail quickly, securing a position as the governor’s driver in a much shorter timeframe than is normal, according to former senior members of the detail who are familiar with its machinations," according to the story. Among the allegations the trooper is making against Cuomo, she says that in August 2019 the former governor asked the trooper about her plain-clothes attire, about why she never wore a dress, and about why she always wore dark-colored clothing. Then Cuomo sent her a text message saying that it, "stays in the truck." She also alleges other issues, including that Cuomo asked her why she would get married, as "it always ends in divorce, and you lose money, and your sex drive goes down." Read more about this story in the Times Union.