Tyner (file) – no apology
POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Legislature Government and Administration Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to censure fellow lawmaker Joel Tyner for his remarks made at a recent Democratic caucus meeting.
At that public session, Tyner said that county Public Works Commissioner Robert Balkind was following county administrative orders for the takeover of the Poughkeepsie City bus system, just as the German soldiers followed orders 70 years ago, referencing World War II.
There was no mention at that meeting before Tyner’s comments that Balkind is Jewish and lost relatives in the Holocaust.
Since the session, Tyner said on a number of occasions that his wife is Jewish and that he had no knowledge of Balkind’s faith.
At Thursday night’s committee meeting, resolution sponsor James Miccio said the reason for the censure resolution was because of how he spoke to a county public employee.
Miccio told the committee that if Tyner would apologize publicly to Balkind, he would withdraw his resolution.
Tyner spoke a few times, bringing up the city bus transfer, but made no attempt to apologize.
“There is frankly been a lot of mis-reporting on this. Just so everybody is aware, there is a difference between describing a county policy as fascist and attacking you as fascist,” he said. “I never attacked any of you or the DPW commissioner as fascist.”
Tyner did not apologize leading Miccio to call the question with a voice vote supporting the censure.
Nine members of the public spoke up for Tyner prior to the vote, noting his passion on the issues. One county resident supported the censure.
The full legislature will vote on the censure resolution at its monthly session next week.