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State Rep. Wes Retherford arrested at McDonald's drive-thru, Butler County sheriff says

32-year-old charged with felony, misdemeanor
State Rep. Wes Retherford arrested at McDonald's drive-thru, Butler County sheriff says
Posted at 11:14 AM, Mar 12, 2017

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio -- An Ohio lawmaker arrested Sunday morning appeared to be passed out behind the wheel at a McDonald's drive-thru, according to the Butler County Sheriff's Office.

State Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, was booked into the Butler County Jail on one count of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a felony, and one count of operating a vehicle under the influence, a misdemeanor, according to the Butler County Jail's website.

The county's Communications Center got a call that a man "appeared to be passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle in the McDonald's drive-thru located at 5500 Liberty Square Drive, Liberty Township," a news release from the sheriff's office said.

Deputies also found a loaded firearm in the vehicle's seat, the sheriff's office said.

WCPO has left telephone messages with Retherford seeking comment on his arrest.

The 32-year-old represents Ohio's 51st District, which includes the cities of Hamilton and Fairfield, Ross Township, and parts of Fairfield, Hanover and St. Clair townships. He was first elected to the office in 2012.

"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," Butler County Republican Party chairman Todd Hall said in a statement. "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."

The county party endorsed former state Rep. Courtney Combs over the incumbent Retherford in the most recent primary; Combs had held the office until the end of 2012, when he had to leave because of term limits.