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Andrew Cuomo aide leaves COVID-19 task force amid gov’s sex-harass scandal

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The governor’s aide whose wedding reception is at the center of the latest sexual-harassment allegation against Gov. Andrew Cuomo is leaving his COVID-19 task force.

Gareth Rhodes said in a prepared statement Wednesday that he’s returning to his position as deputy superintendent and special counsel to the state Department of Financial Services.

“Last week as I approached one year since moving to Albany to join the NYS Covid task force, I decided it was time, given the progress of the vaccination program and continued decline of Covid numbers, to return to my previous role at the Department of Financial Services and I informed the Governor’s senior staff at the time,” Rhodes’ statement said.

The move came just days after Anna Ruch, 33, became the third woman to accuse Cuomo, 63, of sexual harassment.

It also came shortly before Cuomo was expected to hold his first news conference since the scandal erupted last week.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
The move came just days after Anna Ruch, 33, became the third woman to accuse Gov. Cuomo, 63, of sexual harassment.
AP

Rhodes has regularly been among the Cuomo administration officials to join the governor at his briefings.

In a story published Monday, Ruch told The New York Times that Cuomo came on to her, grabbed her face and kissed her on the cheek after officiating at the 2019 wedding of Rhodes and Alexa Kissinger, a former White House staffer for then-President Barack Obama.

Gareth Rhodes
Gareth Rhodes said in a prepared statement Wednesday that he’s returning to his position as deputy superintendent.
Douglas Healey

A photo of the incident shows Cuomo towering over Ruch as he held her head with both hands and she looked at him with apprehension inside the Manhattan restaurant Toro.
Kissinger expressed support for Ruch, a fellow Obama staffer, following her revelations.

“This pattern of behavior is completely unacceptable,” Kissinger tweeted.

Anna Ruch is seen with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019.
Anna Ruch is seen with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019.

“I am so proud of @annaruch for sharing her story.”

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