Multiple New York Democratic Lawmakers Busted for Cocaine in Past Two Years

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An outspoken New York Republican congresswoman reportedly accused Democratic politicians in her district of having substance abuse issues.

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“North Country elected Democrats have a cocaine and crime problem,” Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.-21st C.D.) said, according to a Saturday New York Post report. Much of her congressional district includes counties at the northern tip of upstate New York, which fall under the broad umbrella called the “North Country.”

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A telephone call to Congresswoman Stefanik’s Glens Falls, New York office was not immediately returned.

The most recent North Country elected Democrat to run afoul of law enforcement is a St. Lawrence County legislator. St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police reportedly said they charged Anthony Arquiett, 56, of Helena with DWI, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance on Dec. 4 after they responded to a two-vehicle collision.

“Tony is deeply disappointed in the decisions that he made on Dec. 4, 2021, prior to his arrest,” Arquiett’s attorney Edward Narrow said, according to a Dec. 6 Watertown Daily Times report. “He has expressed remorse for the accident … Tony would also like to continue to express his concern for the safety and welfare of the other parties involved in the motor vehicle accident, and to express his remorse and apologize to the members of the community for his conduct.”

Narrow said he expected his client to be released on his own recognizance in light of New York’s recent bail reform legislation that eliminated bail for all but the most serious crimes, and he stressed his client, like all defendants, enjoys the presumption of innocence.

Stefanik called on the North Country legislator to resign after his arrest.

According to the Watertown Daily Times, St. Lawrence County’s Board of Legislators Chairman Bill Sheridan, a Republican, said the board does not have a lot of say in what happens unless Arquiett is convicted.

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Narrow relayed Arquiett’s decision to continue serving as a St. Lawrence County legislator even as others call for his resignation, according to Watertown’s Channel 7 News.

“This is the third North Country elected Democrat to be arrested for criminal cocaine possession in recent years. I am calling on Tony Arquiett to resign immediately,” Stefanik said in a statement, according to WWNYT. “The silence of all North Country Democrats is deafening, and I urge Democrats to demand Arquiett’s resignation now and make clear that drugs have no place in our community, especially among our elected leaders.”

The Post said Stefanik pointed to former Democrat Tim Currier, who was the mayor of Massena, a town adjacent to the St. Lawrence River. Currier was arrested on Dec. 1, 2020, after allegedly leading law enforcement on a chase that lasted about one-third of a mile. Before he pulled over, a report from the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department alleged, Currier threw about one gram of crack cocaine out of his passenger window.

He resigned a month later.

Stefanik’s final example was Clinton County Legislator Simon Conroy, who was arrested Sept. 6, 2019, for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. A misdemeanor charge of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance was later added.

Plattsburgh’s police chief at the time reportedly alleged Conroy was found to possess cocaine, according to a Press-Republican report from 2019.

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