“He was alone and cooperative,” said the officer, who ticketed Assemblyman Katz for a small baggie of marijuana and for going 80 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone on the New York State Thruway, reports Joe Coscarelli at New York Magazine.
Katz was traveling on I-87 through Coeymans, according to state police, reports Laura Nahmias at The Wall Street Journal.This is the 59-year-old Putnam County lawmaker’s first known pot bust, but, oddly, he was arrested two times for allegedly mishandling dogs when he worked as a veterinarian. Both cases were dismissed.
State police released Katz with a ticket, ordering him to appear in court on March 28. Katz didn’t immediately return calls for comment. A Katz spokesman, Joseph Ahearn, said Friday that the assemblyman had no immediate comment and would “release a statement” later Friday or on Saturday, reports Joseph Spector at Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
His challenger in the Republican primary, Dario Gristina, lost no time in starting up the obnoxious moralizing, calling on Katz to resign.
“He should just step down,” Gristina said on Friday. “This is not the behavior you would expect from an elected official, especially from a conservative county like ours.
“We have enough kids abusing drugs, and the last thing we need is for our elected representative being caught handing marijuana over to a police officer,” Gristina said, working himself into a fine lather.
It’s actually pretty damned funny that Gristina could get all morally outraged over a penny-ante little pot bust, when he, himself, was arrested for driving while drunk back in 2000.
But, of course, he claimed his situation was oh-so-“different” because he wasn’t an elected official, the offense “didn’t involve drugs” (what?) and it occurred more than a decade ago. Gristina also got in hot water last year he he actually pulled over a teen driver in Mahopac and allegedly identified himself (falsely) as an “undercover officer.” A special prosecutor claimed Gristina broke no laws.
Meanwhile, pothead Assemblyman Katz sits on committees for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, as well as Higher (nudge nudge, wink wink) Education.