Top NY lawmaker faces ethics probe after DWI charge

This undated photo provided by the Ontario County Sheriff's office shows Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb. The top Republican in the New York State Assembly, was charged New Year's Eve with driving while intoxicated in his state-issued vehicle, just a week after he wrote a newspaper column warning citizens against getting behind the wheel drunk. 

ALBANY — A state Republican lawmaker who was charged with drunken driving and blamed his wife for a New Year’s Eve crash said Thursday he will not run for reelection this year.

Brian M. Kolb previously served as the top Republican in the New York State Assembly, but stepped down from the leadership post after being charged with driving while intoxicated.

Kolb was behind the wheel when his state-issued 2018 GMC Acadia slid off a driveway and down an embankment near his home in western New York, according to authorities.

A court filing by an Ontario County sheriff’s deputy said Kolb had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16% — double the legal limit of .08% for driving.

In a sworn statement filed with the court, a witness said that when he approached, a man who had been leaning into the vehicle stood up and said “My wife was driving!” and then said, “You know how women drive.”

Kolb did not address the run-in with police in a statement announcing that he will not seek reelection this year, but did say he has “every intention of being an active member of the community and state that I love.”

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