The top Republican in the New York State Assembly, a browbeating fiscal conservative who led the unsuccessful campaign to bar undocumented immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses, was arrested this week for driving drunk in his taxpayer-funded vehicle.
Brian Kolb, 67, crashed his SUV into a ditch outside his home in Victor, NY at around 10:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve. He was taken to the local precinct, where a Breathalyzer test indicated that his blood-alcohol content exceeded .08 precent, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. The Times Union reports that Kolb was given a ticket and released from custody.
Kolb, the GOP minority leader and longest-serving member of the state legislature, was driving a 2018 GMC Arcadia at the time of the crash, police said. It appears to be the same vehicle that was controversially provided to him by the state last year.
The arrest came just one week after Kolb published an op-ed imploring local residents to drive sober over the holidays.
"There is no excuse for impaired driving," he wrote. "Here in New York, we have taxis, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and a robust public transportation system. Please, use these services, or a sober, reliable designated driver when making your way about town."
Further schadenfreude can be found over on Kolb's Twitter feed, where he frequently warns that reforming cash bail and allowing immigrants access to drivers licenses will breed lawlessness and threaten struggling taxpayers.
Kolb addressed his conduct in a statement on Thursday.
“This was a terrible lapse in judgment, one I have urged others not to make, and I take full responsibility for it," he said. "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. "
Inquiries to his office about whether his personal responsibility will include stepping down from minority leader, as some fellow lawmakers have called for, or surrendering his SUV, were not returned.
His arrest brings an end to a nearly year-long streak of New York lawmakers not getting charged with crimes.