Pike County sheriff indicted on 16 charges after allegations he stole money from drug busts

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader - 2018 file photo (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader has been indicted on 16 charges after he was accused of stealing money from drug busts to support his gambling addiction.

The anonymous complaint filed against Reader alleges he kept cash from cases in a safe that only he had access.

The accuser also told the auditor's office that the sheriff took money from other deputies and owed money to local business owners.

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Ohio State Auditor Keith Faber announced the grand jury presented Reader with seven charges of conflict of interest, four charges of theft in office, two charges of thefts, one charge each of tampering with evidence, tampering with records and securing writing by description.

“This has been a long and intensive investigation with unfortunate and very serious results. It is our job to hold public officials accountable and root out fraud, waste, and abuse in our communities. We do not take these charges lightly and recognize that no one is above the law. While this is a major step toward seeking justice, our team is fully prepared to present these findings to a jury as this matter moves forward. I’d like to commend everyone who worked on this case for the immense amount of effort and detail that has been dedicated to the investigation.”

In late 2018, Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk requested a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued the following statement regarding the indictment of Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader:

“This will have no impact on the Wagner capital murder cases, as Sheriff Reader was not the primary witness for any issue of fact or law. Ohio sheriffs act with integrity and honor, and this rare occurrence does not reflect the excellent work they do daily throughout their counties.”

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