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Area Legislator Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Joel Tyner
Joel Tyner Photo Credit: File

A longtime Dutchess County Democratic legislator abruptly resigned with an early morning email as he faces allegations of inappropriate sexual comments.

Joel Tyner sent an email shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, the legislator wrote 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.”

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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