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.”