PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Clackamas County’s appointed representative for Oregon House District 39 has had several run-ins with the law but says he’s tried to grow up over the years.
Clackamas and Marion county commissioners appointed James Hieb to the Oregon House Monday morning. Hieb is replacing Christine Drazen, who stepped down from the position to pursue a run for Oregon governor.
Oregon court records show Hieb has faced several charges in the past, which he confirmed and spoke about.
“Transparency is one of my goals,” Hieb said in a phone call with KOIN News. “I’ve tried to grow up over the years.”
In October 2004, Hieb was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, violating the basic speeding rule and driving under the influence of intoxicants.
His charge for eluding was dismissed. He paid his ticket for speeding and went through diversion for the DUII charge to have it dismissed.
In 2008 he was cited for failure to register a vehicle and failure to carry proof of compliance. The proof of compliance charge was dismissed and Hieb was fined for the vehicle registration.
In 2009, he had his license suspended after he was convicted of operating a vehicle without required lighting equipment and improper display of validating stickers. Hieb was fined and his license was reinstated 10 months after it was revoked.
Three years later, in 2012, Hieb faced charges of second-degree criminal trespass and second-degree disorderly conduct. He was acquitted of the trespassing charge and found not guilty of disorderly conduct.
In 2013, he was convicted again of improper display of validating stickers and was once again fined.
His most recent incident was in 2019 when he was stopped and cited for improper use of safety belts. According to court documents, Oregon State Police stopped Hieb on Highway 30 in Multnomah County after noticing he was driving with two kids in the car who were not wearing seat belts properly. The trooper said an 8-year-old was sharing a seatbelt with their father, Hieb, and an 11-year-old in the vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt. Hieb once again paid a fine for this incident.
Hieb also owed more than $1,900 to Clackamas County for more than five years, from 2012 until he paid the amount owed in 2019.
KOIN 6 News called Hieb Monday morning and he confirmed he was the person involved in these incidents. He said the DUII occurred when he was young and that the criminal trespass charge was on family property and involved drama with his in-laws.
He claims the tax money owed to the state was a “clerical error,” but said he bit the bullet and eventually paid it.
Hieb said he’s previously worked as a teacher and is a Marine Corps veteran. He told KOIN he has PTSD but that he “was not going to let the trauma of life eat me. I wanted it to make me stronger.”
Hieb said he felt the meeting with commissioners Monday morning, when they appointed him as representative, went well. He said he felt he was well prepared and knows the issues his community is concerned about.
He said Drazen leaves big shoes to fill and that she did a good job representing her community.
Hieb is already in Salem and said he plans to hit the ground running during the current legislative session. Hieb served as the vice-chair of the Canby Planning Board and previously ran for Canby’s city council.