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Ohio GOP leader: Wes Retherford must resign if allegations are true

Posted: 1:04 PM, Mar 17, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-17 17:05:07Z
Ohio GOP leader: Wes Retherford must resign if allegations are true

HAMILTON, Ohio -- The chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party says if the allegations against Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford are true, he "should resign from office," the Journal-News reports.

This would be the second Republican organization calling for the Butler County Republican to resign following his OVI arrest this past Sunday where he was allegedly found passed out in his Chevy Silverado in the drive-thru lane of a Liberty Twp. McDonald’s.

"The Ohio Republican Party must be represented by elected officials who have the confidence of their constituents and the discipline to govern,” said Chairman Jane Timken in a written statement. “Unfortunately, the allegations against Representative Retherford have called both into question. If these allegations are true, Representative Retherford should resign from office.”

Retherford is charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, a misdemeanor, and improperly handling a firearm, a fourth-degree felony. A loaded handgun, which was in its holster, was found in the center armrest console of his truck.

Before his arrest Sunday, Retherford attended the Butler County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner at the Oscar Event Center in Fairfield. During that event, Retherford told several attendees he planned to go to the Grandstand, a bar and grill in Liberty Twp., after the dinner.

This news outlet has reached out to several Republicans and lawmakers at the dinner, but they have either declined to comment or said they did not notice anything unusual at the dinner.

One person, Ohio Rep. Keith Faber, R-Celina, confirmed he did go to the Grandstand but stayed briefly, only drank a Diet Coke and left by 11 p.m.

Retherford issued a statement last Wednesday that he would be absent this past week from session and committee hearings at the Statehouse in Columbus, and requested "space and privacy” for himself and his family “as we move forward on this personal matter."

The Journal-News is a media partner of WCPO - 9 On Your Side.