Assemblyman Brian Kolb will dig into his own pocket to pay for repairs to his state-owned SUV that he crashed into a ditch outside his home in an alleged DWI crash on New Year's Eve, state officials confirmed Wednesday.
Assemblyman Brian Kolb will dig into his own pocket to pay for repairs to his state-owned SUV that he crashed into a ditch outside his home in an alleged DWI crash on New Year’s Eve, state officials confirmed Wednesday.
The extent of the damage is unknown, but Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson said last week it appeared to be minimal.
Whatever the cost will be, the former Assembly minority leader from Ontario County will pay for it himself— not from his campaign account or taxpayers, Assembly officials said.
"Assemblyman Kolb called the Speaker and said he would personally pay for repairs to the vehicle and turn it in when those repairs are completed," said Michael Whyland, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx.
In 2018, Kolb was provided a new GMC Acadia, which cost the state $43,601, according the New York Daily News. Legislative leaders and some lawmakers in leadership posts are provided state vehicles.
Kolb, 67, was driving the vehicle when he was arrested and charged with drunken driving at about 10 p.m. near his Victor home after he told police he had 4 or 5 drinks at a restaurant in Penfield, about 15 miles away, records show.
Kolb revealed the crash Jan. 1 and apologized in a statement, saying he made "a terrible lapse in judgment, one I have urged others not to make, and I take full responsibility for it."
On Friday, he quit as Assembly minority leader, a post he held since 2009 and that came with a $34,500 a year stipend.
Kolb plans to stay on as a assemblyman. He would have to seek re-election in November.
Assembly Republicans tapped central New York member Will Barclay on Tuesday as the new minority leader ahead of the legislative session starting Wednesday.
On Tuesday, court records showed that Kolb allegedly told a tow-truck driver that his wife was to blame for the crash.
"The male stood up and put his hands up and said, 'My wife was driving!' He then said, 'You know how women drive.' I did not see anyone else around the vehicle," the tow-truck driver said in a statement to an Ontario County deputy.
But when police arrived, Kolb admitted to being the driver and agreed to a Breathalyzer — which showed he had a 0.16% BAC, which is twice the legal threshold.
He is set for arraignment Thursday in Victor Town Court.
“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," he said in a statement Friday.
"That is why I have decided to step down as Minority Leader."