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Assemblyman charged after pot bust

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
March 15, 2013 2:31:29 PM PDT
So you want irony? Oh we have irony- although I suspect many will call it hypocrisy.

A New York State Assemblyman from Westchester County gets busted for allegedly having marijuana in his car on the New York Thruway. State police stopped Stephen Katz because he was allegedly going 80 in a 65 mph zone. The trooper says he smelled "the odor of marijuana," and then discovered a baggie of pot.

The irony? Mr. Katz last June voted against legalizing medical marijuana when it came to a vote. He was on the losing side ? as the measure passed, 91-52, with most of Katz's fellow Republicans also voting against it.

It happened yesterday morning at 10 when the cop says he smelled the marijuana in Katz's car. After the bust, Katz proceeded to the state capital in Albany, where he took part in an Assembly session.

This afternoon, a defiant Mr. Katz quickly trying to spin the bust and insisted he "will not let this incident impede my public service and my calls for real mandate relief, a better economic climate and better services for those in need in New York. I am confident that once the facts are presented that this will quickly be put to rest."

Should be an interesting story to follow.

We'll have the latest on the bust and Mr. Katz, tonight at 11. And we'd love to hear what you think of the case in light of his vote last year.

Also at 11, we're back in East Flatbush in Brooklyn tonight, where clergy are organizing a demonstration to protest the fatal police shooting of a 16-year-old boy who cops say pulled a gun on them last weekend. There have been disturbances all week ? most of them minor, but the case is disturbing for so many reasons. Jeff Pegues is there for us.

We're also following the latest developments and rising tensions over North Korea. Tonight the Pentagon says it's putting more than a dozen 12 missile interceptors on the West Coast because "the threat from North Korea is maturing" and now with its road-mobile ICBM, "probably has the range to reach the U.S." Happy weekend.

And last night we had the story of Bruno the Rottweiler, the only dog at an emergency animal shelter on Long Island who hadn't yet been adopted after he and his owner lost their home to superstorm Sandy. Now, the response has been overwhelming ? and Bruno will soon be going to a good home. Tonight, another dog story, this one with good but bizarre ending: A girl and her dog boarded a flight from Newark to Phoenix yesterday. Make that ? the girl was on that flight. The dog, it turns out, was somehow put on another flight. Going the other direction. A long way in the other direction. To Ireland.

Oy.

Tonight we'll have the latest on the reunion that's going to soon happen.

Hopefully.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER

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