Pike County Democratic Party considering four candidates for interim sheriff

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The Pike County Democratic Party met to discuss appointing an interim sheriff after Charlie Reader was suspended. They will choose from 4 candidates on July 25th (WSYX/WTTE)

PIKETON, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- The Pike County Democratic Party will choose between four candidates to be interim sheriff.

The party interviewed the candidates in executive session at their regular meeting Thursday night at Piketon High School.

"We want to take our time. We want to make sure we got the right candidate. We want to make sure we do things correctly," said David DeWitt, chairman of Pike County Democratic Party. The candidates include Pike County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Robert Barbee, Jim Nelson, Tracy Evans and Timothy Dickerson.

Current Sheriff Charles Reader was suspended after he was indicted on 16 charges including theft in office and tampering with evidence.

Barbee is running the office until a replacement is name and he wants to keep the job. "Being there has given me basically a leg up on everyone else because I've seen the areas that need to be addressed. We've attempted for quite a while to kind of correct the course, but it's hard when you don't have that final decision."

Barbee isn't the only one who wants that final decision so does Timothy Dickerson. "I believe I'm the candidate that can fix what's wrong with the sheriff's office and I believe that given the opportunity that the public will see that as well," Dickerson said.

Nelson said Pike County has been in the news for all the wrong reasons and he wants to make it right. Evans said morale at the sheriff's office is low and feels he can build it back.

Since Sheriff Reader is a democrat, county commissioners are letting the democratic committee appoint one of the four candidates to serve out the remainder of the sheriff's term.

County commissioner Jerry Miller said the committee has a tough, but important job, "It's going to be important for them to do their due diligence and make sure that they choose someone in the interim that gets the job done and continues to support Pike County and the law enforcement efforts in the county."

DeWitt said the committee will vote on an interim sheriff July 25th at 7pm at Piketon High School.