NEW YORK STATE (via WSYR-TV) — Assemblyman Brian Kolb issued a statement on Friday, saying he was stepping down as the Minority Leader of the New York State Assembly. He is stepping down from his leadership position, but not as a member of the Assembly.
On New Year’s Eve, Kolb was accused of driving drunk. This comes after he released a statement in early December urging people to drive sober.
The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy found Kolb inside his state-issued car in a ditch near his home around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night. Kolb was taken into custody and charged with unsafe turn and driving while intoxicated.
In a statement on Friday, Kolb said:
“As Leader of the Assembly Minority Conference, I have always tried to put the needs and best interests of our Conference ahead of my own. That is why I have decided to step down as Minority Leader.
I have a profound respect for each and every one of my colleagues, and sincerely admire their daily efforts on behalf of constituents and communities in every corner of the state. But I will not allow my own personal challenges to distract from the goals, message, and mission of the Assembly Minority Conference. With a new year and new legislative session ahead, the work of our Conference cannot be undermined or deterred in any way.
I will be forever grateful for the confidence my colleagues have placed in me for the past 10 years. But in my heart, I know that this is the right time for a new leader to step in and advance an agenda that benefits all New Yorkers.
The events of December 31 are ones I will always deeply regret. On a personal level, I have begun the process of seeking professional help in order to heal, learn, and fully address the challenges that I, along with my family, currently face.”