© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Complaint Accuses Pike County Sheriff Of Stealing Drug Money

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, left, speaks alongside Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, right, during a news conference to discuss developments into the slayings of eight members of one family in rural Ohio two years ago, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.
John Minchillo
/
AP
Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, left, speaks alongside Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, right, during a news conference to discuss developments into the slayings of eight members of one family in rural Ohio two years ago, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.

The Ohio Auditor’s Office has released an anonymous complaint accusing Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader of taking money seized during drug investigations and using it to fuel a gambling addiction.

The auditor’s office released the complaint Monday at the request of news organizations.

“Sheriff Charles S. Reader keeps the cash confiscated on drug cases in a small safe in his office that only he has access to,” the complaint alleges. It goes on to call Reader a compulsive gambler who “never has any money.”

“Reader just does whatever he wants and no one ever calls him on it. He has also taken cars out of his impound lot and given them to his daughter to drive,” the complaint says. “We are scared to death of him. He is unstable and threatens people.”

Calls to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately returned Tuesday morning. Reader reportedly declined comment on Monday when reached by several reporters.

Last week, Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk requested a judge appoint a member of the Ohio Auditor’s legal team to be the special prosecutor looking into the claims against Reader. Junk made the request because of his close relationship with Reader.

Reader made worldwide headlines as he helped state investigators lead the investigation into the murders of eight members of the Rhoden family in 2016. A grand jury recently indicted four members of the Wagner family on aggravated murder charges.