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Oregon state representative arrested at county fair for disorderly conduct

Fairgoers enjoy a variety of rides Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, at the Berrien County Youth Fair in Berrien Springs, Mich.(Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via G3 Box News) DON CAMPBELL/G3 Box News

Oregon state representative arrested at county fair for disorderly conduct

Misty Severi

August 18, 10:49 PM August 18, 10:49 PM

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An Oregon state representative spent the night in a county jail after he was arrested at the Clackamas County Fair on disorderly conduct charges, the county sheriff’s office said Thursday.

State Rep. James Hieb, a Republican who represents District 39 in the state’s House of Representatives, has since been released and faces charges of second-degree disorderly conduct and interfering with a peace officer, the sheriff’s office told the CBS-affiliated news station KOIN 6.

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The arrest occurred when a woman asked Hieb to put out his cigarette after the fair’s rodeo, Hieb told Oregon Live. The politician, who also had four beers at the fair, said he was caught off guard when the woman had asked him to put the cigarette out and the woman called for the police.

“I’m really just trying to understand how a cigarette turned into such a big deal,” Hieb said, according to the outlet. “I don’t think I ever even raised my voice.”

Law enforcement disarmed Hieb after he informed them that he was carrying a concealed weapon he had a permit for, and he was given an exclusion from the county fair before being escorted off the grounds, Hieb told the outlet.

In February, Hieb was selected to replace House Minority Leader Christine Drazan, who resigned her post to run for governor. Hieb said he did not know how the arrest would affect his political career.

“I don’t know how this is going to impact my future,” Hieb said. “I don’t know what to do yet. I’m still absorbing everything.”

Republican leadership in the House condemned Hieb’s actions at the county fair and encouraged the representative to focus on getting help, according to a statement obtained by the outlet.

“Leadership team is disappointed by the events that led to his arrest and do not condone them,” House Republicans said. “Leadership encourages him to focus on his family and to get the assistance he needs.”

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The arrest was not Hieb’s first run-in with the law. Hieb was arrested in 2004 for attempting to elude an officer and driving under the influence, according to KOIN 6. The lawmaker was convicted of operating a vehicle without the required lighting equipment and improper display of validating stickers in 2009 and was arrested on second-degree criminal trespass and second-degree disorderly conduct charges, but he was not convicted of the disorderly conduct charge.

The lawmaker was arrested a final time in 2019 for improper use of a seat belt when state police noticed Hieb had two children in the car who were not wearing seat belts properly, the outlet reported, citing court documents.

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