Reaction to arrest of Assemblyman Brian Kolb

DiPietro: "It's a black eye for all of us"

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb

USA Today

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Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) -  "I was disappointed.  I know Brian personally," said Assemblyman Dave DiPietro (R-East Aurora).  DiPietro reacting to the DWI arrest of New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) on New Year's Eve in front of his home in Victor, N.Y.

"He showed bad judgement here with a DWI, and there's no excuse," he said.  But DiPietro added, Kolb has accepted full blame for his actions. "That's a start, but our conference is going ot have to take it from there," he said.

DiPietro has spoken with a number of people in the state's Republican conference and said they will deal with it when they go back to work next Wednesday, January 8th.  

While there have been calls for Kolb to resign, DiPietro said he is willing to listen to the veteran lawmaker before speculating on whether he should remain in office or not. "As for any prediction, I'm not going to speculate," he said.  

Kolb's blood-alcohol content was over the legal limit of .08 according to the Ontario County Sheriff.  

Regarding the charge of DWI, Buffalo attorney Paul Cambria said if you're over .08, it becomes Driving While Intoxicated. That's a misdemeanor.  "Typically, where there's no accident involving another vehicle or personal injury, it gets reduced to Driving While Impaired."  Cambria said that is a violation and can include a fine, license suspension, conditional license and things like that.   

Kolb had been outspoken against the dangers of drinking and driving.  His arrest came just days after an op-ed piece on the subject.  "This is a black eye for all of us," said DiPietro.  While Kolb has support in the conference, DiPietro added that something like this changes the dynamics.  

"I don't think that the judge will punish him for making speeches that turned out to be hypocritical. He should be treated like anyone else," said Cambria.  

In his years as a defense attorney, Cambria has represented dozens of high profile clients. "[Kolb] will be under more media attention. "There were probably 50 arrests like this over the weekend, but this is the only one you're going to hear about."  Cambria said the lawmaker will be under more scrutiny and whether he's given linient treatment.

Kolb was in his state-issued vehicle when he was arrested. DiPietro said that makes the case a little worse.  "I didn't know that he had a state vehicle.  I know Majority members had them, but I didn't know that he was given a state vehicle," adding, "that's New York State. It's so over-bloated and corrupt."

 

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