Several women accuse ex-Dutchess legislator of sexual harassment, assault

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POUGHKEEPSIE -

A longtime Dutchess County legislator has resigned after several women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Political activist Susan Linich says she is going public about the alleged sexual harassment she faced from longtime Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner.

Linich says she reached out to the lawmaker on Facebook in 2016 about campaign signs and got sexually charged remarks in response, calling her "sexy" and saying he'd ask her on a date if he wasn't with someone else.

"It's certainly not something I would expect or should expect from someone who’s a county legislator when I'm asking a question about logistics,” she says.

The exchange is similar to other messages sent to News 12 from another activist, who chose not to be identified or interviewed, but wanted her alleged correspondence with Tyner made public.

One message said their chat would lead him to get a divorce, another saying "let's run away" because his wife wasn't home.

Tyner resigned late last month and hired high-profile attorney Michael Sussman amid allegations of harassment from several woman and a claim of sexual assault from his former fiancée.

While Sussman denies Tyner did anything illegal, Dutchess County Legislative Chariman Gregg Pulver is praising the alleged victims for going public. He said in a statement, “I admire the courage that it took for these women to come forward. I continue to be in shock at each story that emerges."

No formal charges have been filed against Tyner, but his pregnant wife filed for divorce following the allegations.

Joel Tyner's resignation letter stated, "It's time to step aside and work on myself."

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