“Legislator sorry for treatment of women,” read the headline on the lead story in Thursday’s Valentine’s Day edition of the Daily Freeman. At first, I thought they were referring to Dutchess County legislator Joel Tyner, who resigned last month, while denying any impropriety, after allegations of “improper” treatment of women.
No, this was Ulster legislator Hector Rodriguez’s long-delayed, circuitous, befuddling explanation of his relationships with a number of unidentified women over an unspecified period of time.
“I am still learning the details at this time about those I may have offended or hurt,” the New Paltz Democrat told the Freeman via an online post. “Part of my challenge is that while I am not yet totally aware of who (sic) I’ve made uncomfortable and many of the specifics of how I have done so, right now I need to acknowledge my own behavior and how I will address it moving forward.”
What? Or in topical parlance, WTF! This man knows nothing of his own behavior, admits nothing and indicates that he may seek guidance from those of whom he may have offended in order to address his issues going forward? Reasonable, responsible people recognize improper behavior and they don’t do it. Joel Tyner must be turning over in that grave he dug himself.
But while any number of prominent Dutchess County officials demanded Tyner’s resignation, the sound of silence from Ulster have been deafening.
Even the most outspoken legislator of all, Joe Maloney, independent of Saugerties, is withholding judgement on what he calls Rodriguez’s “personal life.”
“I have no idea what he’s accused of,” said Maloney. “We’ve all heard the allegations.”
Does Maloney think the county’s ethics board should take up this case? Recall, the ethics board fined Maloney $7,000 for what it considered improper behavior in voting on a union contract that included a raise for his county-employed wife. Re: Rodriguez, he thinks not. Not yet. The board did not respond.
For sure, Rodriguez’s Democratic colleagues in the legislature found allegations of improper behavior credible enough to deny him the chairmanship and strip him of his leadership position. Rodriguez subsequently announced he would not seek reelection to a ninth term in November.
The question now, is should he do a Tyner and resign immediately? In fairness, I think not, even if his credibility is compromised by these allegations. No one in government is publicly accusing Rodriquez of anything, neither is anyone defending him. Better the lately righteous ethics board should call in all parties and render a recommendation. Soon.