OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Apparently, some New York Democrats cannot keep their noses clean, in more ways than one.
New York Democrat Legislator Anthony J. Arquiett, 56, was arrested this month on charges of cocaine possession and being intoxicated while driving charges, Breitbart News reported.
He became the second Democrat politician in St. Lawrence County to be arrested on charges of possession of cocaine this year.
Arquiett, a St. Lawrence County legislator, was involved in a two-vehicle crash on December 4, according to NNY 360. The legislator allegedly told an officer, “I was heading home and I had too much to drink.” The officer searched Arquiett and allegedly found 2.5 grams of cocaine and two dextroamphetamine sulfate pills, NNY 360 reports.
His lawyer, Ed Narrow, told the New York Post that the legislator is due in court in January and he intends to plead not guilty. Narrow added that his client will not resign his seat in the legislature.
“North Country elected Democrats have a cocaine and crime problem,” upstate Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik said to The Post.
“It is a disgrace that Arquiett refuses to resign and that fellow elected Democrats are silent,” she said.
Some experts who spoke with The Post said that drugs are a growing issue in the northern part of the state.
“I run the county jail and I gotta tell you, 60 to 80 percent of the inmates I have, have some sort of a drug issue,” Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill said. “Now that we are getting over the opioid epidemic, cocaine seems to be filling in the gap.”
Tim Currier, then-mayor of Massena, a town nestled along the St. Lawrence River, and a former police chief there, was arrested Dec. 1, 2020, after allegedly leading local lawmen on a car chase through the village. He was spotted by detectives “throwing approximately one gram of crack cocaine out his passenger window,” according to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s office.
He was cuffed at gunpoint, video of the arrest shows.
Currier, 56, was charged with drug possession, tampering with evidence and failure to comply with a police officer, the Sheriff’s Office said.
He resigned a month later. In a statement following the arrest, he said, “I made some poor decisions … I cannot express how embarrassed and disappointed [I am] in myself and for my family and friends.”
Clinton County Legislator Simon Conroy was arrested in September 2019 on charges of cocaine possession too.
His record also includes a stalking charge against a female friend he was allegedly harassing. He was caught with the drugs near Plattsburgh City Hall, but police did not give any details of the incident.
“I was arrested for disorderly conduct. I believe the charge was fraudulent and due to a particularly corrupt law enforcement officer. I believe I suffered over the last 30 days a mid-life crisis of sorts. The trauma I endured these past weeks has been difficult and uncharacteristic for me and my family. Please accept my deepest and most heartfelt apologies. My focus and hope is to mend fences. In conclusion please allow me this opportunity to advance my candidacy for the chairmanship of the Clinton County Legislature,” he said at a meeting of the Clinton County Legislature after he was arrested.
“I received a roughly million dollar education over this past month during not only a mid-life crisis where I was depressed but also a bender where I was high. So I went through a lot of experiences that I didn’t go through in the past,” he said.
He resigned weeks after he was arrested and received a $500 fine and sentenced to 180 days behind bars.