UPDATE @ 12:34 p.m.: Brad Miller, a spokesman for Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, said a legislator convicted of a felony is immediately removed from office.
“At this point, no decisions have been made regarding Rep. Retherford or the caucus moving forward,” said Miller. “Those will be made at a later time, upon assessing all available information. Speaker Rosenberger trusts the situation will be resolved in a fair and timely manner. In the meantime, the Speaker extends his thoughts to Rep. Retherford, his family and everyone affected by this incident.”
Retherford is charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, a misdemeanor, and improperly handling a firearm, a fourth-degree felony.
The firearm charge was initially levied as a fifth-degree felony but was increased because the gun was loaded, according to court documents.
UPDATE @ 11:38 a.m.:
Details surrounding Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford’s arrest early Sunday morning have not yet been released, but the Hamilton lawmaker apparently refused to take a breathalyzer test, according to a source at the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
Retherford, who turns 33 on Tuesday, has posted bond and has been released from the Butler County Jail, according to jail officials.
Retherford’s attorney, Jeff Bowling, attempted to get his client released without him having to post bond.
Bowling said bond wasn’t necessary because of Retherford’s ties to the community and stature as a state legislator, nor was he a threat to the community.
“Mr. Retherford has no criminal record whatsoever that I’m aware of, and he has substantial ties to the community. He’s not going to flee,” Bowling said. “He’s a high-profile individual. I don’t know if he tried to if he’d even be able to — he’s very recognizable. You see the cameras here this morning. He’s very recognizable. He’s not going anywhere.”
The prosecution said it opposes revoking bond when there are felony charges.
Retherford was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle while impaired and improper handling of a firearm, which is a felony.
UPDATE @ 10:15 a.m.:
Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford was video arraigned at 10 a.m. Monday after his arrest Sunday on suspicion of operating a vehicle while impaired and improper handling of a firearm.
Retherford held his face down during the arraignment in Area II court.
Bond was set at $2,500 for the weapons charge, which is a felony. Retherford can pay 10 percent ($250) plus court costs to get out of jail.
Retherford will next appear in Area II court at 1 pm on March 15.
Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford, R–Hamilton, is scheduled to be arraigned this morning after his arrest Sunday on suspicion of operating a vehicle while impaired and improper handling of a firearm.
Retherford, 32, will be video arraigned in Area II court at 10 a.m. today.
The third-term state lawmaker was booked into the Butler County Jail at 7:43 a.m. Sunday.
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 that he planned to go to The Grandstand, a bar and grill in Liberty Twp., after the dinner.
Butler County Republican Party Executive Chairman Todd Hall exclusively told this news outlet that “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 Rep. Wes Retherford’s actions early (Sunday) morning.”
Hall said the GOP “rightfully holds our office holders to high standards” and the charges and outcome of Retherford’s court case “will be examined and considered accordingly.”
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