VIDEO: Assembly GOP leader will take wait-and-see approach with Katz

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Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, said today he plans no immediate action against Assemblyman Steve Katz, who was charged Thursday with marijuana possession and speeding.

Katz, R-Yorktown, Westchester County, didn’t inform Kolb on Thursday after Katz was hit with the ticket on the state Thruway. Kolb told Gannett’s Albany Bureau on Friday that he learned of the incident through the media. He said today that he did talk to Katz after being contacted about the arrest by Gannett on Friday.

“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,” Kolb told reporters.

Katz sits on several legislative committees, including the Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee. He receives a $9,000 stipend for serving as the ranking member on the Assembly Mental Health Committee. Lawmakers all receive a base salary of $79,500.

Kolb said he would let the legal process play out before deciding on any legislative punishment for Katz, who was first elected in 2010. Katz is due in Coeymans Town Court on March 28.

“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.”

Katz, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found at the Capitol so far today. He didn’t go to his office this morning, and he missed a noon press conference with his Assembly GOP colleagues to discuss their opposition to extending an energy tax.

Katz’s spokesman, Joseph Ahearn, said the assemblyman would have no further comment until his court date. In a statement Friday, Katz called it an “unfortunate incident” and that he would continue his work.

“I am confident that once the facts are presented that this will quickly be put to rest,” Katz said in the statement.

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  1. Katz will be a thown for all of the assembly republicans. Dump him so you don’t lose more seats next year.

  2. Assemblyman Katz is an embarrassment to all those he represents. Katz lives in a district where there have been undercover operations of late because of drugs and in fact people have dies. We have parents, teachers and elected officials along with law enforcement trying to get a grasp on this serious issue and now we have person who is representing in in Albany getting arrested for possession of an illegal drug. Katz has called on Speaker Shelly Silver to step down in the past, maybe it is time that the Speaker of the Assembly take proper action against Assemblyman Katz and demand that he resign.

  3. yorktown shuffle on

    Fact: Katz was speeding.
    Fact: Katz was stopped by police officer for inappropriate driving.
    Fact: Katz possessed marijuana
    Fact: There was an odor of marijuana

    Conclusion: Evidence suggests Katz is guilty of DUI, possession, speeding.

    How much cash did he have?

    If he had a few hundred dollars in his wallet, charge him with distribution.

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  4. 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