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.