Longtime Hudson Valley Politician Accused of Sexual Harassment
Many are calling for a Hudson Valley politician to resign after many women came forward with sexual harassment allegations.
On Friday, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan was made aware of what he describes are "a set of disturbing findings" from an independent investigation into the conduct of Ulster County Legislator Hector Rodriguez.
According to the investigation, Rodriguez, on multiple occasions and with more than one victim, used his official government position and title to gain access to and seek improper favors and considerations from women and took retaliatory actions when the overtures were rebuffed, according to Ryan.
"Clearly, these actions, had they involved any member of my own administration, would lead to a summary dismissal. Legislator Rodriguez violated the public trust, violated women, and is unfit for public service," Ryan said in a statement. "I strongly urge the Ulster County Legislature to take immediate action to publicly condemn Legislator Rodriguez’s behavior and use any and all other means available to them to ensure he is held accountable for his actions."
Ryan called the women "courageous" for coming forward and thanked them.
"It is vital that government act transparently and appropriately, and as Legislator Rodriguez is a duly elected representative, that this information be shared with the public. We must make clear to the public that Ulster County has zero-tolerance for any form of sexual harassment or discrimination," Ryans said.
The New Paltz Village Board of Trustees issued a statement supporting Ryan, adding Rodriguez should resign.
It is of our opinion that Mr. Rodriguez should resign from his position on the County Legislature. His conduct is far beneath what the public rightly expects and deserves from their elected representatives and we believe that his repeated inappropriate actions make him unable to effectively represent the residents of the Village of New Paltz.
Rodriguez has been an elected official in the area for over a decade. Calls to Rodriguez to comment weren't returned as of this writing.
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