Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) was arrested in Butler County this morning on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and improper handling of firearms.
- Before his arrest Sunday morning, Wes Retherford attended the Butler County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner
- The third-term state lawmaker was booked into the Butler County Jail at 7:43 a.m. Sunday (March 12)
- Retherford faces two potential charges — OVI and improper handling of a firearm
- Retherford reportedly passed out in the McDonald’s drive-through in Liberty Twp., Butler County
Butler County Democratic Executive Committee Chair Jocelyn Bucaro issued a statement regarding State Rep. Wes Retherford’s arrest on suspicion of OVI and improperly handling a firearm in a vehicle.
“Alcohol and guns are a reckless mix, and we’re glad nobody was physically hurt as a result of Rep. Retherford’s actions,” Bucaro’s statement reads. “For too long, Retherford has betrayed his constituents’ trust. Instead of fighting to bring jobs to his district, invest in better public schools, or combat the opioid epidemic in our community, he has built a reputation as the laziest and one of the most disengaged members of the state legislature. We are extremely disappointed in Rep. Retherford’s actions and pray he takes this opportunity to get the help he so obviously needs.”
Ohio House Republican caucus spokesman Brad Miller said any decisions or actions regarding the arrest of Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) “will be made once more information is brought forward.”
Miller said House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) extends his thoughts and prayers to Retherford and his family and all involved and is confident the situation will be handled in a fair and timely manner.
Butler County Republican Party Executive Chairman Todd Hall released a statement and said all details from the investigation “will be examined and considered accordingly.”
“While it is wise to be patient and allow the legal process to work itself through, our party is obviously disappointed at the first reports concerning State Representative Wes Retherford’s actions early this morning,” Hall’s statement reads. “The Butler County Republican Party rightfully holds our officeholders to high standards. We are proud to have a tremendous and highly respected group of elected Republican leaders. Strong ethical and moral conduct is imperative to our Party as it is to the public. As all of the details regarding last night’s incident come to light, they will be examined and considered accordingly.”
Butler County dispatch center received a call about a male who appeared to be passed out behind the wheel while in the drive-through at McDonald’s located at 5500 Liberty Square Drive in Liberty Twp., according to a Butler County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Deputies found a loaded gun in the car and arrested the driver, Retherford, on suspicion of operating a vehicle while under the influence and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, according to the release.
Retherford, 32, was booked into the jail at 7:43 a.m. for OVI and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, which is a felony. The location of arrest is listed as 5500 Liberty Square Drive, which is McDonalds.
The state lawmaker is in his third term as representative of the 51st Ohio House District, which includes the cities of Hamilton and Fairfield, Ross Twp. and parts of Fairfield, Hanover, and St. Clair townships. He defeated former state lawmaker Courtney Combs by earning 56 percent of the vote, according to unofficial Butler County Board of Elections results.