Assemblyman Kolb charged with DWI: What we learned today |


Assemblyman Kolb charged with DWI: What we learned today

Berkeley Brean
Updated: January 03, 2020 06:52 AM
Created: January 02, 2020 06:31 PM

VICTOR, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC is still working to learn more about the drunk driving arrest of New York State Assemblyman Brian Kolb.

He was charged on New Year's Eve. The sheriff in Ontario County says Assemblyman Kolb failed a breathalyzer test.

But we still want to know -- what was his blood alcohol level when he was tested?

We asked Sheriff Kevin Henderson to give us the BAC of the test. He did not answer.

We asked for the incident report. The sheriff told us had to file a freedom of information request.

We did that at 11:13 a.m. on Thursday.

We still don't have it and the law says Ontario County has a month to get that report to us. 

So the only thing we know about the blood test with Brian Kolb is what Sheriff Henderson told us at his news conference Wednesday.

"He did consent to a breathalyzer which indicated he had more than .08% of alcohol in his blood," he said. 

The sheriff says Kolb was found in his state-owned SUV in a ditch Tuesday night at the start of Kolb's driveway in Victor. Ontario County District Attorney, Jim Ritts, said he knew immediately that he would get a special prosecutor. 

"The first notification I knew we needed to do something," Ritts said. "It's immediate."

Thursday, Ritts told me that prosecutor will be Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella. We also learned that the judge in the case will be Penfield Town Judge James Mulley. 

Brian Kolb is the leader of Republicans in the New York State Assembly. Less than 24 hours after Kolb's arrest, Republican Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor tweeted Kolb should "step down" as leader. "That he hasn't done so already is a disgrace" Lalor tweeted. 

"He committed a crime. He admitted to committing a crime, a crime where we're very lucky no one was hurt," Lalor told me on FaceTime. 

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "Just to be clear Assemblyman Kolb was charged with DWI. He hasn't been found guilty. I think we should be clear on that."

Kieran Michael Lalor, (R) New York State Assembly, 105th District: "But he admitted it."

Brean: "In his statement? You're saying he admitted it in his statement?"

Lalor: "He basically publicly confessed."

Brean: "In his statement, you're saying that was an admission?"

Lalor: "Yes."

In the statement Wednesday, Kolb wrote: 

"Last night, I was charged with driving under the influence near my home. This was a terrible lapse in judgment, one I have urged others not to make, and I take full responsibility for it. I want to offer sincere apologies to my family, friends, colleagues, and the people of the 131st Assembly District. I fully recognize the severity of the situation and I am profoundly sorry. There is no excuse and no justification for what occurred Tuesday evening. I made the wrong decision, and it is one I deeply regret."

Brean: "Do you think he can remain as an elected official?"

Lalor: "You know I'm not calling for him to step down from the assembly. So I would let his constituency in the Finger Lakes decide that. But I'm his constituent as a member of the Assembly Republican Conference so where I have a say I think he should go."

In a text message, I asked Assemblyman Kolb if there was anything I could report on legislative issues like his role as leader. He replied, "Not that he can think of right now."

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