Apple has quietly employed Andrew Cuomo’s former communications chief, who helped the disgraced ex-governor combat the allegations of sexual harassment that finally led to his downfall, The Put up has discovered.
Peter Ajemian — who has been working for Apple’s communications group since a minimum of early August — beforehand served as Cuomo’s PR chief for practically a 12 months till stepping down in Could.
Based on Legal professional Basic Letitia James’ report on Cuomo’s alleged sexual misconduct, Ajemian was a part of a “group of advisors” that “had ongoing and common discussions about tips on how to reply” to allegations of sexual harassment towards the governor.
However whereas different Cuomo aides like Melissa DeRosa and Wealthy Azzopardi caught round till the bitter finish, Ajemian jumped ship about three months earlier than the governor resigned to pursue unspecified “alternatives within the personal sector” — then landed at Apple over the summer time.
Ajemian and Apple didn’t reply to requests for remark. It’s unclear precisely how lengthy he has been working for the tech big 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 Put up on Apple’s behalf on Aug. 2 — the day earlier than Legal professional Basic Letitia James launched her report on Cuomo. His title additionally seems on an Aug. 26 press launch 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 legal professional basic’s workplace concluded was an act of “illegal retaliation.”
Ajemian was on a name in March alongside Cuomo adviser Melissa DeRosa and two staffers from the Albany Occasions Union newspaper. Throughout the name, DeRosa tried to get the newspaper to simply accept Boylan’s personnel information off-the-record, however a Occasions Union editor rebuffed her, in keeping with the legal professional basic’s investigation. Cuomo’s workplace 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 Put up that the communications workplace was a “poisonous” work atmosphere and that she had determined to stop by February 2021.
When she known as Ajemian to present him the information, he “began screaming” at her, Moreno mentioned.
“He advised me that I lacked integrity,” she mentioned, including that she discovered Ajemian’s choice to proceed defending the governor “disgusting.”
Moreno, 25, additionally provided some recommendation for Apple workers working with Ajemian: “Don’t belief him.”
“If I have been a younger girl at Apple, I wouldn’t need to report back to him,” Moreno mentioned, given Ajemian’s assist in defending Cuomo from the harassment allegations. Moreno now works as an unbiased Democratic communications marketing consultant.
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 keeping with the AG’s report.
Ajemian additionally was in a bunch 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 keeping with the legal professional basic’s report.
Ajemian’s whole pay in 2020 was $145,304, in keeping with state information. His predecessor as Cuomo PR director — Dani Lever, who left in 2020 to work for Fb — was additionally linked to the trouble to smear Boylan, having helped distribute her file to journalists, in keeping with the AG’s report.
However in contrast to Ajemian, Lever had already moved on to her tech job by the point she suggested Cuomo on tips on how to deal with sexual harassment allegations. As a result of she suggested the governor as a Fb worker, she doubtlessly put Fb in violation of New York State lobbying legal guidelines, in keeping with authorized consultants who talked to The Put up.
Whereas Fb has ignored all requests from The Put up 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 Marketing 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.