State Rep. James Hieb (R-Canby) spent his evening on Aug. 17 greeting constituents at the Clackamas County Fair but ended his night in handcuffs after a brief disagreement with one fairgoer.
Hieb, appointed earlier this year to replace state Rep. Christine Drazan (R-Canby), who resigned to run for governor, tells WW he interacted with “hundreds” of people at the fair.
But as he was preparing to leave, he decided to smoke a cigarette. That, he says, is when his night went south.
Hieb, the director of Building Blocks Early Learning Center in Wilsonville in his day job, says he was standing at an exit near the rodeo fairgrounds when a woman told him to put the cigarette out.
“I guess I kind of I blew her off,” Hieb says. “She said, ‘I’m getting the cops.’”
When officers approached Hieb, he says he was wearing a shirt that identified him as a state representative. He also told them he was carrying a concealed weapon, for which the former Marine has a permit. “That could have raised some hairs on their necks,” Hieb says.
“I was really caught off guard,” he adds. “I would never have thought I’d get arrested over a cigarette in a million years. The woman was kind of a Karen. It was kind of a minimal interaction with her—I didn’t think it would escalate.”
After arresting him, police booked Hieb at the Clackamas County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct in the second degree and interfering with a peace officer, according to the online jail roster. They released him on his own recognizance.
“It wasn’t the way I saw my evening ending,” Hieb says. “I’ve worked so hard to help my community over the years, and it may have just gone up in smoke.”
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the arrest but said it could offer no further details.
The House Republicans issued a statement on his arrest this afternoon.
“Today Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson and Rep. James Hieb spoke about his arrest last night in Canby,” the statement said. “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.”