Pike County Commissioners will defer to the Pike County Democrat Central Committee to appoint an interim sheriff. The Central Committee plans to meet Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at Piketon High School to discuss the matter. The committee chair told ABC 6 that he has had a handful of people express interest in the job.
The commissioners said in a statement that in order to maintain continuity of operation, Chief Deputy Robert Barbee, the number two ranking law enforcement officer within the department, will function as department head but will retain the title of Chief Deputy until a replacement is named. The Central Committee has 5 to 45 days by Ohio law to name the Interim Sheriff.
Sheriff Charles Reader was suspended Wednesday and said in court documents that the Ohio Auditor’s Office seven-month investigation of him and the sheriff’s office has “adversely affected the functioning of the Office and has caused debilitating stress to me.”
Sheriff Reader said “I am under conditions of bail that prohibit me from communicating with 7 of 16 certified officers. I am also prohibited from communicating with the County Prosecutor.”
Reader was indicted last month on 8 misdemeanors and 8 felony charges. Reader pleaded not guilty to those charges.