Fallout continues over the New Year’s Eve DWI arrest of the leader of the Republicans in the New York State Assembly, Brian Kolb. One GOP colleague is questioning whether Kolb should remain as leader.
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor was the first, and so far only, Assembly Republican to publicly say that Kolb should resign his leadership post. Kolb was charged with drunken driving after he crashed his state issued vehicle in front of his home outside Rochester on New Year’s Eve.
Lalor tweeted on January 1 that Kolb should have resigned immediately after his arrest, and to not have done so was a “disgrace”.
Lalor, speaking on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom Friday, says he sees Kolb’s actions and continuation in the leadership post as a sign of how far the GOP has lost its way in New York.
“He’s driving a very expensive, $43,000 (state) car at 10’o’clok on New Year’s Eve, wearing a hoodie, unshaven, which tells me that he wasn’t at an official event. He’s drunk and he crashes into his own property,” Lalor told host David Lombardo. “If we aren’t the party of law and order and we aren’t the party of the taxpayer, what do we have left?”
Lalor says Republicans have been critical of criminal justice reforms enacted by Democrats that will eliminate most forms of cash bail, and he says the fact that one of the GOP legislative leaders was charged with a crime weakens the Republicans’ argument.
Lalor says during next week’s State of the State speech, when the spotlight will be on the governor and legislative leaders, assembly republicans will be embarrassed.
“There will be one Assembly Republican on that stage,” said Lalor. “And we have a leader who is facing criminal charges that he admits to. And I don’t think it’s tenable to have a leader in that situation.”
Kolb issued a statement January 1 saying there’s “no excuse and no justification” for what happened New Year’s Eve, and he says he “deeply regrets” making the wrong decision.
Kolb, who wrote an op ed on his website at the start of the holiday season warning of the dangers of drinking and driving, has not made any further comments.
A special prosecutor has been appointed to handle the case going forward.