Joel Tyner campaign embroiled in drama

With the Democratic primary less than a week away, Congressional candidate Joel Tyner has suddenly found himself in the middle of an embarrassing dustup with former campaign treasurer Misha Fredericks.

On Tuesday, the day after the single debate between Tyner and fellow Democratic candidate Julian Schreibman, Fredricks resigned, claiming that Tyner's campaign bank account held about $5,200 less than he claimed in his federal election filings.

The Times Herald-Record broke the news:

Fredericks resigned her post following Monday's debate between Tyner and Schreibman.

She said Tyner's “atrocious” debate behavior convinced her to go public with the alleged financial mismanagement.

“I left ashamed that I was his treasurer,” she said.

The Albany Times-Union reported that Fredericks sent her letter of resignation to several newspapers, including the Times Herald-Record:

She announced her resignation in a letter to campaign staffers and some other newspapers, including the Middletown Times-Herald-Record. “I didn’t want to be investigated for embezzlement, so I wrote this to cover my butt,” said Fredericks, who runs a pet-sitting business.

The Times-Union story also includes an outraged, somewhat incoherent email sent by Tyner to his supporters in response to the allegations. In it, Tyner accuses Fredericks of being a political plant, claims that she sent him semi-nude photos of herself, and, bizarrely, defends himself against the charge of mishandling campaign funds by claiming that he has not paid rent to his mother since last August.

Tyner held a press conference in Rhinebeck yesterday morning to speak out about the issue. From the Mid-Hudson News:

Tyner said Fredricks’ actions prove, in his mind, to be politically motivated.

“If she had supported me at all to begin with, don’t you thing she would have sent me a letter, or four or five people on the campaign team, but, no. Misha gave us all a great campaign gift”, he told supporters. “She showed her true colors. She made it very clear, it is politically motivated and was never on my side. Usually I am a good judge of character; I stank this time.”

Since Fredricks's resignation, Tyner has also lashed out at another prominent campaign supporter on his Facebook wall.

The Democratic primary will be held next Tuesday, June 26.