State Rep. Wes Retherford makes first public statement since arrest

Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton.

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Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton.

Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford issued today his first public statement since his OVI arrest this past Sunday.

“Due to present circumstances, I regretfully will be absent from session and all committee hearings in the Ohio House of Representatives for the remainder of the week. Out of respect for my family, I humbly ask for space and privacy as we move forward on this personal matter,” according to the statement.

MORE: 911 call describes scene leading to lawmaker’s arrest

Retherford, a Republican from Hamilton, was allegedly found passed out in his Chevy Silverado as it was parked idling in the drive-thru lane of a McDonald's in Liberty Twp.

He is charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, a misdemeanor, and improperly handling a firearm, a fourth-degree felony.

Retherford was arraigned by video in Butler County Area II Court on Monday. He posted bond and was released soon after his initial court hearing.

A preliminary hearing scheduled for today has been continued until March 22, according to court records.

RELATED: Retherford got 2014 ticket for driving 97 mph

According to the incident report, Retherford also had a Glock model 23 with 15 40-caliber rounds in a magazine and one round in the chamber in his vehicle. The weapon was holstered inside a compartment underneath the center armrest. Retherford does have a CCW license, according to the sheriff’s office.

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.

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