CANBY, Ore. — A state lawmaker was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of disorderly conduct and interfering with a peace officer at the Clackamas County Fair in Canby, Oregon.
Republican Rep. James Hieb, of Canby, was arrested Wednesday night and told The Oregonian/OregonLive the incident happened after the rodeo when he had four beers and then lit a cigarette. A woman asked him to put it out.
“I was kind of caught off guard,” he said.
Hieb said the woman summoned officers. He didn't have an explanation for how the situation escalated to that point, saying that he largely ignored her.
"The lady told me no smoking, I was just like, 'Okay, you're kinda rude,' and just kinda blew her off," Hieb told KGW on Friday. "It was outside, I was off by myself. I know there's not supposed to be smoking on the fairgrounds — which, in hindsight, I wish I would have waited 'til I left. I just never in a million years thought it would blow up into something so big."
According to Hieb, he never raised his voice or used profanity in response to the woman.
Hieb said he told law enforcement he was carrying a permitted concealed weapon. Officers, he said, put him in handcuffs and disarmed him. Hieb, who was wearing a campaign shirt with his name on it, was then arrested and issued an exclusion from the fair, he said.
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said Hieb was arrested and released. KGW reached out to the agency for additional comment but has yet to receive a reply.
Hieb was appointed to represent Oregon House District 39 by Clackamas and Marion County commissioners — replacing House Minority Leader Christine Drazan, who stepped down to run for governor.
He said he’s not sure whether he can continue to campaign for House District 51.
House Republican leaders on Thursday issued a statement: “Leadership team is disappointed by the events that led to his arrest and do not condone them. Leadership encourages him to focus on his family and to get the assistance he needs.”
Oregon court records indicate that Hieb has a background that includes several misdemeanor charges and violations. The lawmaker said he is a combat veteran who served in the U.S. Marines.