Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader has been provisionally suspended from office as of Wednesday, July 10, according to a motion filed in the Pike County Common Pleas Court, just a little more than a week after the sheriff pleaded not guilty to a 16-count indictment.
The motion was signed by visiting Judge Chris A. Martin, who presided over Reader’s July 2 arraignment. The Motion to Commence Suspension Proceedings Against a Public Official in Accordance with Ohio Revised Code 3.16 was filed by the state before Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor.
“Charles Reader has chosen to accept his suspension from office while the criminal case pending against him proceeds,” stated Auditor of State Keith Faber regarding the suspension. “His decision enables the community to maintain confidence in the sheriff’s office while the legal process continues.”
Appearing in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas on July 2 for arraignment, Reader pleaded not guilty to all charges on which he was indicted in June.
A Pike County Grand Jury indicted Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader on 16 charges on June 28, including seven charges of Conflict of Interest, four charges of Theft in Office, two charges of Theft, one charge each of Tampering with Evidence, Tampering with Records, and Securing Writings by Deception.
The Pike County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on Wednesday, saying, “The Pike County Sheriff’s Office is aware of Sheriff Reader’s reported suspension. Our office has not received any official notification of such and will continue to provide our normal law enforcement services to the public.”
In December 2018, an investigation into alleged misconduct in the sheriff’s office was opened by the Ohio Auditor’s Office.
Reader’s case is scheduled for a pretrial on Aug. 12.