Kolb DWI case carries on
The assemblyman was charged in January with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated
VICTOR — Assemblyman Brian Kolb was in Victor Town Court Thursday afternoon with his attorney to address several legal arguments related to his case. In January, Kolb was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor — driving while intoxicated — in Ontario County following a New Year’s Eve Party.
The judge made the decision to advance the case with a hearing, scheduled for Oct. 27 at 9 a.m., which would determine whether Kolb’s defense attorney can suppress the field sobriety test and whether the arrest was appropriate from the case.
According to Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella, who was named as the special prosecutor for the case on Jan. 2, the motion from the defense to suppress the field sobriety test was “perfunctory,” as the results can often be damaging to the defendant.
“The judge will decide if the test was properly administered,” he added in comments to the press after leaving court.
Kolb’s defense attorney, Christopher Schiano, said he left the validity of the test up to the court as well.
“Procedurally, the issue is up to the court,” he said, adding that he “saw a lot of things that were challenging,” regarding bodycam footage from Ontario County sheriff's deputies.
Schiano also had motion papers filed on March 10, asking for information on how the breathalyzer machine used for the field sobriety test was maintained in addition to how the test was performed.
Yet the hearing, overseen by Judge James Mulley of Penfield Town Court, was largely cordial, with Schiano crediting Casella for quick turnaround on multiple pieces of evidence as requested by the defense. All parties agreed to the date and time for the next hearing.
Yet with the novel coronavirus pandemic causing delays and making it difficult for large groups to meet internally, Casella admitted it would be different assembling a jury.
“Usually the jury’s chosen in the morning, leaves in the afternoon,” he said. “It depends on the length of process.”
Kolb was driving a state-owned SUV when he crashed into a ditch outside his Victor home in the alleged DWI accident on New Year’s Eve. The damage appeared to be minimal, according to Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson. Kolb paid for the repairs out of pocket, however.
The state assemblyman, a Republican who represents the 131st District and was minority leader for the state Assembly, stepped down from his leadership role Jan. 3. He also announced that same day that he would not run for re-election.
Additional reporting by Joseph Spector, Bill Wolcott and Will Cleveland of USA TODAY Network