Katz didn’t tell Assembly GOP leader about pot bust

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Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb said he was not informed by Assemblyman Steve Katz that Katz had been ticketed for marijuana possession and speeding Thursday morning presumably on his way to the Capitol.

“It was brand new news to me to read about it,” Kolb, R-Canandaigua, said. “So it’s the first I’ve heard of it, and I still don’t know what the details are because Mr. Katz has not called me and I have not spoken with him.”

Kolb heads the 43-member GOP conference, and typically he would be the first to know if one of his members was in any hot water. But Katz apparently came to work Thursday and didn’t tell the leader of his conference.

“You would think that that would be at least one of those calls you’d make to just let me know that it’s occurred,” Kolb said. “I have no idea why he didn’t call me. I would like any of our members to keep me informed if they run into some difficulty, just so we are aware of it.”

But Kolb said he wouldn’t offer an opinion on Katz’s situation or indicate whether any action would be taken against him, saying “I just have to wait for the legal process to take its course.”

You can see Katz speaking on the Assembly floor Thursday morning — soon after his arrest — at the 01:07:50 mark of Thursday’s session. He was speaking in opposition to a pain-management bill.

His challenger in the Republican primary last year, Dario Gristina, called on Katz to resign.

“He should just step down,” Gristina told The Journal News. “This is not the behavior you would expect from an elected official, especially from a conservative county like ours.”

Katz’s Democratic opponent, Andrew Falk, said voters expect more from their elected officials, but he didn’t call on Katz to resign.

“It’s shocking behavior and inappropriate behavior, and as an attorney, I see the devastating effects of people who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” Falk said. “I think no matter what your feelings are about what people do in the privacy of their own homes, this is just unacceptable conduct.”

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8 Comments

  1. We was not ticketed for dui, he was ticketed for simple possession and speeding. Possession is not a crime, it is a violation, same as the speeding ticket. I think this would make him a rational voice on the alcohol and drug abuse committee.

  2. Another republican who believes in “do as I say and not as I do”, what an azz ole. His constituents need to bounce him out of his position and he needs to be removed from the drug committee.

  3. Common Sense on

    He will fight the ticket by saying he was on his way to Albany to vote on legislation. He will get the marijuana possession charge thrown out – that is what good Republicans do for white people. If he had been black he would rot in jail.

  4. Jackson Davies on

    Phony conservative Tea Party hack.
    Are not all the “Tea Party” advocates and politicians nothing more than shills for millionaires and CEOs (the ones who support their “campaigns”) who wish to have reduced taxes and provide reduced benefits and rights for the workers who they employ and who made them millionaires with their work?
    Tea Party has become the name for hypocritical selfish “me me me” attitudes: “I got mine and I dont care about you”

  5. I love hamburgers on

    Assemblyman Katz, Kolb should have been the first person you informed about your problem. You have put the entire republican conference in jeopady. You are now on the outside looking in. This is not where you want to be at this time.

    You do understand that you will not get there support next year. You have made the wrong moves.

  6. copied from the wall street journal on

    Dr. Steve Katz, Meet ‘Eloise’

    The Assemblyman, the Republicans, and the honor student By Jim McKean | 11:45 am

    Local Voices

    Jim McKean DR. STEVE KATZ, MEET ‘ELOISE’

    Posted on March 20, 2013 at 11:45 am 1 Comment No, Steve, her name isn’t really Eloise. We’re just using that because she’s 14, and her actual name is protected. Who is she? The student here in Yorktown who was suspended for three months for possession of a marijuana cigarette. Unlike you, she didn’t get to just hand it over to the cop – oh, sorry, in your case it was a whole bag of the illegal controlled substance, not just a joint –and speed off with only a ticket and a small fine. Why not? Help me with this, Steve, I’m having a bit of trouble understanding what’s going on here. Like all the parents in your district, I’d like to explain to my sons just how their elected official, who has been so forthright in his denunciation of drugs, and so insistent on ‘family values,’ can square being a lawmaker with such brazen flouting of the law. But you seem to have disappeared. I called your office and left my number yesterday morning; where have you gone? Since you’ve gone astray, I thought I’d call the head of your party in the Assembly — Brian Kolb. He seems to have a moral compass: after all, on his website he says “Once a model of leadership, decades of scandal, corruption and mismanagement have reduced our state government to a national laughingstock.” He goes on to say: “Assembly Republicans believe we can do better and we must do better. We believe citizens deserve a more honest, ethical and responsive state government.” Honest. Ethical. The citizens deserve better. Sounds good to me. I was curious as to what he would say about your arrest. But I never heard back from him either. Too busy, I guess — even for an aide to return my call. He did have time for a press conference. No wonder he didn’t want to talk to me — or anyone else, for that matter. Just listen to what he had to say yesterday: “We had a good conversation, and certainly I think what Steve wants to focus in on is moving forward, representing his district and then he’ll deal with the infraction through the legal process.” And let you stay on the Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee. And continue to get your $9,000 stipend for serving as the ranking member on the Assembly Mental Health Committee. And your salary of $79,500. “I’ll let the process take its own course,” Kolb said. “I want to see what the result of all that is, in fairness to him.” So, Steve — and Brian — what do we tell Eloise? What do we tell our kids? That talk is just talk when it becomes a matter of power. If you’re on the inside, laws don’t apply to you. I, and all my fellow members of your district, want to hear it, straight from you: why has Eloise’s life been ruined by a teenage transgression while you get off with a ticket and a press release? How is it that a lawmaker gets to obey the laws he wants to and laugh at the ones he doesn’t? How is it that our representative gets pulled over speeding with a bag of marijuana, stoned at 10 in the morning on his way to work, and his boss has a ‘good conversation’ with him? And where are all the rest of your colleagues? Silence. In fairness to us, Steve how is it that you are even still in office? Have you no shame? Do you think you can do something like this and that in a few weeks you can just stroll into a meeting and get clapped on the back and applauded by your grateful constituents? We have seen your true character, or lack of it; sadly, we have now seen that your colleagues are so addicted to power that they are down there in the gutter with you. LoHud: Assemblyman Steve Katz, Critic of Sheldon Silver, Had Sex-Harassment Court Fight Wall Street Journal: Two Prior Arrests for Illegally Dumping Body of Dead Dog