Apple has quietly employed Andrew Cuomo’s former communications chief, who helped the disgraced ex-governor struggle the allegations of sexual harassment that in the end led to his downfall, The Post has realized.
Peter Ajemian — who has been working for Apple’s communications staff since a minimum of early August — beforehand served as Cuomo’s PR chief for practically a year till stepping down in May.
According to Attorney General Letitia James’ report on Cuomo’s alleged sexual misconduct, Ajemian was a part of a “team of advisors” that “had ongoing and regular discussions about how to respond” to allegations of sexual harassment in opposition to the governor.
But whereas different Cuomo aides like Melissa DeRosa and Rich Azzopardi caught round till the bitter finish, Ajemian jumped ship about three months earlier than the governor resigned to pursue unspecified “opportunities in the private sector” — then landed at Apple over the summer season.
Ajemian and Apple didn’t reply to requests for remark. It’s unclear precisely how lengthy he has been working for the tech large or what title he holds.
The headline on Ajemian’s LinkedIn profile lists him as an worker of the Cuomo administration, however he first emailed The Post on Apple’s behalf on Aug. 2 — the day earlier than Attorney General Letitia James launched her report on Cuomo. His title additionally seems on an Aug. 26 press release from Apple.
As a part of his work as Cuomo’s PR director, Ajemian was allegedly linked to an effort to smear ex-Cuomo staffer Lindsey Boylan, who had accused the governor of sexual harassment. The ploy was to tarnish Boylan’s picture by releasing her confidential personnel information in what the lawyer basic’s office concluded was an act of “unlawful retaliation.”
Ajemian was on a call in March alongside Cuomo adviser Melissa DeRosa and two staffers from the Albany Times Union newspaper. During the decision, DeRosa tried to get the newspaper to just accept Boylan’s personnel information off-the-record, however a Times Union editor rebuffed her, in response to the lawyer basic’s investigation. Cuomo’s office then allegedly despatched the information anyway.
Cassie Moreno, who briefly labored below Ajemian as a Cuomo administration press officer starting in December 2020, advised The Post that the communications office was a “toxic” work surroundings and that she had determined to stop by February 2021.
When she known as Ajemian to present him the information, he “started screaming” at her, Moreno stated.
“He told me that I lacked integrity,” she stated, including that she discovered Ajemian’s resolution to proceed defending the governor “disgusting.”
Moreno, 25, additionally provided some recommendation for Apple workers working with Ajemian: “Don’t trust him.”
“If I were a young woman at Apple, I wouldn’t want to report to him,” Moreno stated, given Ajemian’s assist in defending Cuomo from the harassment allegations. Moreno now works as an impartial Democratic communications advisor.
Weeks after Ajemian allegedly screamed at Moreno, he helped put together Cuomo for a press convention in March the place the governor addressed the allegations, in response to the AG’s report.
Ajemian additionally was in a gaggle textual content alongside different Cuomo advisers, and former Pete Buttigieg comms director Lis Smith, the place they mentioned the “spin” that the governor placed on the sexual harassment allegations, in response to the lawyer basic’s report.
Ajemian’s complete pay in 2020 was $145,304, in response to state information. His predecessor as Cuomo PR director — Dani Lever, who left in 2020 to work for Facebook — was additionally linked to the hassle to smear Boylan, having helped distribute her file to journalists, in response to the AG’s report.
But in contrast to Ajemian, Lever had already moved on to her tech job by the point she suggested Cuomo on the best way to deal with sexual harassment allegations. Because she suggested the governor as a Facebook worker, she doubtlessly put Facebook in violation of New York State lobbying legal guidelines, in response to authorized consultants who talked to The Post.
While Facebook has ignored all requests from The Post for touch upon Lever’s actions, different Cuomo confidantes accused of serving to the governor deal with the sexual misconduct allegations — together with Human Rights Campaign head Alphonso David, Time’s Up executives Tina Tchen and Roberta Kaplan, in addition to a duo of managing administrators at public relations agency Kivvit — have all since stop their jobs or been fired.