Apple has tacitly hired former communications chief Andrew Cuomo, who helped the disgraced ex-governor tackle the sexual harassment allegations that ultimately led to his demise, The Post learned.
Peter Ajemian – who has been with Apple’s communications team since at least the beginning of August – previously served as Cuomo’s PR chief for almost a year until resignation in May.
According to Attorney General Letitia James report Regarding Cuomo’s alleged sexual misconduct, Ajemian was part of a “team of advisors” that “had ongoing and regular discussions on how to respond to allegations of sexual harassment against the governor”.
But while other Cuomo aides like Melissa DeRosa and Rich Azzopardi stayed to the bitter end, Ajemian jumped overboard about three months before the governor’s resignation to pursue unspecified “private sector opportunities” – and then landed at Apple that summer .
Ajemian and Apple did not respond to requests for comment. It is unclear exactly how long he has worked for the tech giant or what title he holds.
The headline on Ajemian’s LinkedIn profile lists him as an employee of the Cuomo administration, but he first emailed The Post on behalf of Apple on August 2, the day before Attorney General Letitia James released their report on Cuomo. His name will also appear on an August 26th Apple press release.
As part of his job as Cuomo’s public relations director, Ajemian was allegedly linked to attempting to slander former Cuomo employee Lindsey Boylan, who had accused the governor of sexual harassment. The trick was to damage Boylan’s image by releasing her confidential personnel files, which the Attorney General concluded as an act of “unlawful retaliation.”
Ajemian was on a Call in March together with Cuomo consultant Melissa DeRosa and two employees of the Albany Times Union newspaper. During the call, DeRosa tried to get the newspaper to secretly accept Boylan’s personnel files, but a Times Union editor dismissed them following the Attorney General’s investigation. Cuomo’s office allegedly sent the files anyway.
Cassie Moreno, who worked briefly under Ajemian as the Cuomo administration’s press secretary from December 2020, told the Post that the communications office was a “toxic” work environment and that she had decided to quit by February 2021.
When she called Ajemian to bring the news to him, he “started” yelling at her, Moreno said.
“He told me I lacked integrity,” she said, adding that she found Ajemian’s decision to continue defending the governor “disgusting”.
Moreno, 25, also gave some advice to Apple employees who work with Ajemian: “Don’t trust him.”
“If I were a young woman at Apple, I wouldn’t want to report to him,” Moreno said, given Ajemian’s help to defend Cuomo from the harassment allegations. Moreno now works as an independent communications advisor to the Democrats.
Weeks after Ajemian allegedly yelled at Moreno, he helped Cuomo prepare a press conference in March at which the governor raised the allegations, according to the AG’s report.
Ajemian was also in a group text and former along with other Cuomo advisors Pete Buttigieg communicates with Director Lis Smithwhere, according to the attorney general’s report, they discussed the “twist” the governor had put on allegations of sexual harassment.
Ajemian’s total salary in 2020 was $ 145,304, according to state records. His predecessor as Cuomo’s PR director – Dani Lever, who left to work for Facebook in 2020 – was also linked to efforts to slander Boylan helped distribute her files to journalists, so the report of the working group.
But unlike Ajemian, Lever had already moved into her tech job by the time she advised Cuomo on dealing with sexual harassment allegations. Because she advised the governor as a Facebook employee, Facebook could potentially violate New York state lobbying laws, according to legal experts who spoke to The Post.
While Facebook has ignored all requests from The Post for comment on Lever’s actions, other Cuomo confidants are accused of helping the governor handle the allegations of sexual misconduct – including Alphonso David, head of human rights campaign, Time’s Up managers Tina Tchen and Roberta Kaplan, as well as a Managing director duo of the PR company Kivvit – have all since given up their jobs or been fired.