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Ex-Cuomo aides who helped smear accuser leave jobs at top PR firm

Two former staffers of Gov. Andrew Cuomo who helped their ex-boss smear sexual harassment accuser Lindsey Boylan have left their jobs at a politically related public relations firm with hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in state contracts, The Post has realized. 

Josh Vlasto and Richard Bamberger — each former top Cuomo staffers who had been named all through the lawyer basic’s report into the governor’s “inner circle” — confirmed Monday that they had left their jobs as managing administrators at PR firm Kivvit.

“We agreed to amicably part ways,” Vlasto and Bamberger stated in a joint assertion to The Post.

Kivvit — which has counted Google, Tesla, Citigroup, Lyft, Princeton University and the US Olympic Committee amongst its purchasers — had already scrubbed the pair from its website by Monday morning. 

Their departures come lower than two weeks after The Post reported that Kivvit was raking in hundreds of thousands of {dollars} from state contracts at the identical time each executives had been serving to Cuomo combat off Boylan’s accusations.

Asked for touch upon Vlasto and Bamberger’s departure, a Kivvit spokesperson stated, “The firm does not comment on personnel matters.”

Rich Bamberger (left) helped Cuomo try to assemble signatures for a letter in December that “impugned [the] credibility” of accuser Lindsey Boylan, in accordance with the lawyer basic’s investigation.

According to the bombshell investigation launched by Attorney General Letitia James earlier this month, Vlasto and Bamberger had been a part of a coterie of out of doors advisors that helped Cuomo combat accusations of sexual misconduct. The group additionally included Cuomo’s CNN host brother Chris, former Pete Buttigieg communications director Lis Smith, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David and Facebook communications supervisor Dani Lever, amongst others. 

In an interview with investigators, Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa testified that Vlasto first got here up with the thought to leak Boylan’s personnel data to journalists after Boylan accused the governor of misconduct in December. 

Bamberger was then considered one of a number of individuals who “coordinated with some of the reporters who received the documents to let them know that the Executive Chamber would be sending them,” in accordance with the lawyer basic’s report. 

Josh Vlasto (left) was accused by Melissa DeRosa (proper) of developing with the thought to leak Lindsey Boylan’s personnel file to reporters.

Vlasto — who served as Cuomo’s chief of workers from 2013 to 2014 and has additionally labored for New York Sen. Chuck Schumer — informed investigators that he believed Boylan’s information gave “relevant context for the reporters … given that Lindsey [Boylan] was making accusations of harassment” and added that he believed Cuomo had wished or authorized the leak. 

Bamberger additionally helped Cuomo try to assemble signatures for a letter in December that “impugned [the] credibility” of Boylan and prompt that she might be working with supporters of then-President Donald Trump and a politician who wished to unseat Cuomo as governor, in accordance with the lawyer basic’s investigation.

Earlier in August, Kivvit managing director Tom Meara informed The Post that Vlasto and Bamberger had been “acting in their personal capacity” once they helped Cuomo and didn’t answer a question about whether or not the duo had permission from their employer to work for his or her former boss on the location. 

Kivvit has counted Google, Tesla, Citigroup, Lyft, Princeton University and the US Olympic Committee amongst its purchasers.

But though Kivvit denied that Vlasto and Bamberger had been working for the company once they helped smear Boylan, public data present the company is raking in hundreds of thousands of {dollars} by way of ongoing contracts with the state of New York. 

That features a $75 million contract for media shopping for companies with the state’s Office of General Services. The deal started in 2018 and ends in 2024, in accordance with the data. Kivvit additionally has a $10 million cope with the State University of New York system for “strategic planning and media buying services” that began in 2019 and runs by way of this December.

Kivvit costs commissions of 4 to 10 p.c on media shopping for contracts, which means the final companies and SUNY offers put at least $3.4 million and $8.5 million of taxpayer money the company’s coffers. 

Josh Vlasto (proper) served as chief of workers for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (left) from 2013 to 2014.

The PR firm additionally has an ongoing $2 million consulting contract and had two different smaller advertising and marketing and public relations offers with the New York Department of Health, data present.

Rich Azzopardi, a spokesperson for the disgraced governor, stated that the concept that Vlasto and Bamberger’s personal relationships with Cuomo helped the company safe state contracts was the “dumbest thing I ever heard.” A spokesperson for Kivvit stated the contracts had been “part of a public competitively bid RFP process.”