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Politics

Dutchess Legislator's Resignation Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations Not Yet Official

Joel Tyner
Joel Tyner Photo Credit: File

While he seems to have one foot out the door following reports of his resignation amid allegations of inappropriate sexual comments, longtime Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner has not officially removed himself from office.

Tyner sent an email shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, to his colleagues, writing that he is resigning his position that he has held for the better part of two decades.

“I hereby resign my position as county legislator for Clinton and Rhinebeck. It’s been my pleasure to work with you all over these last 15 years,” he wrote. “it’s time for me to step aside, let someone else have this position… and time for me to work on myself.”

On Thursday, Gregg Pulver, the Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature sent out an email saying that Tyner has not officially submitted his resignation papers.

“Legislator Joel Tyner has not officially submitted his letter of resignation to the County Clerk- he remains a Legislator until he does so. As I did yesterday, I once again urge him to submit his formal resignation without any further delay. I hope every elected Democrat official in Dutchess, especially those who have been hand-in-hand with him over the last two decades, do the same.

“If any victims need support, I encourage them to reach out to Family Services for assistance at (845) 452-1110.”

Tyner has faced allegations on social media from women who suggested that he made alleged inappropriate comments. His resignation reportedly came after charges were made by members of the closed Facebook group Hudson Valley Feminist Collective.

In a statement, Ashley Casale, an administrator of the page, reportedly called out Tyner for “abusing” his power.

“(Tyner) abused his power as Dutchess County legislator by making repeated sexual advances toward women who reached out to him as activists and constituents. He also used his position as a well-known activist and organizer in the region to prey upon significantly younger women within the progressive movement. ... This is a decades-long pattern of abuse and exploitation of his position of authority and influence documented by many women."

On Facebook, Tyner posted, “I’ve made far too many stupid mistakes and 15 years is long enough — time for me to step aside and let someone else serve.” He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

Before he sent his early morning resignation email, Tyner was back on social media, posting about “lying libelous public attacks.”

“(Over) over and over and over and over and over and over again I am being made aware by various folks of tons of lying libelous public attacks being made on me. listen folks. funny little thing about the truth. you can try to hide it. you can try to cover it up. you can try to sweep it under the carpet. but it has a funny little way of coming out. so go ahead y’all. do your level best to try to destroy me. bring it on. your lies will soon see the light of day. I say. bring. it. on.”

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