|Mayor pro tem Joe Hyer of Olympia, Washington: Did he try to live up to his last name?|
Prosecutors have charged Olympia, Washington’s mayor pro tem, who was arrested last week under suspicion of selling marijuana, with three felonies.
Joe A. Hyer has been charged with two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, reports Martha Kang at KOMOnews.com.
Hyer, 37, was arrested at his home on February 18 after a month-long investigation by the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force.
According to the police statement of probable cause, Hyer sold marijuana to two police informants on two separate occasions in February. In both instances, the buyer called ahead to arrange the purchase, and the mayor pro tem came out on his front porch to hand over a bag of pot for a preset price, investigators claimed.
|In happier days: Joe Hyer on the campaign trail in 2009|
Detectives searched Hyer’s home when the mayor pro tem was arrested on February 18. Found were 10 prepackaged bags of marijuana, $320 in cash in a container with some of those packages, and one growing marijuana plant, the document said.
Detectives didn’t say how much pot each of the “prepackaged bags” contained.
Hyer told cops “he attempted to grow marijuana at the residence but was unsuccessful,” and that “only one plant remained alive,” according to the statement.
The mayor pro tem was booked into Thurston County Jail, but released on bail a few hours later.
Hyer has requested a leave from his post in view of the allegations. Local Republicans, quick to try to make political hay from the apparent downfall of a Democrat, have called upon Hyer to resign.
Hyer has been on the Olympia City Council since 2004. He owns two sporting goods businesses in Olympia, Alpine Experience and Olympia Outfitters. He is a former board member and president of the Downtown Olympia Association.
He was handpicked to take over the position of former county treasurer Robin Hunt, with the appointment scheduled for March 1.
Hyer does not have a prior criminal record.
“When will our public safety officers return to providing public safety and stop this culture of attacks and manipulative, self-serving ‘investigations’ of the citizenry?” asked medical marijuana patient and activist Ric Smith of Seattle.