Records: Pike County sheriff accused of gambling stolen drug money

An anonymous complaint alleged that Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader stole drug money to fuel a gambling habit, prompting an investigation into the sheriff, records from the Ohio Auditor’s office show.

The complaint filed Nov. 9 also alleges Reader — who became a well-known name amid the investigation into the 2016 Pike County murders — allowed a relative to drive cars from the county impound lot.

Reader is not charged with a crime, and it’s not clear what the status of the investigation revealed last week is.

This newsroom left a telephone message for Reader on Monday afternoon. An assistant for his attorney, James Bulger, said the attorney would be unavailable to talk for several days.

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The complaint makes no mention of the murders of eight people in the Rhoden and Gilley families. The case drew intense media attention to the county of 28,000 people in 2016 and again last month, when Reader’s office and state and federal investigators arrested six people in connection with the case, including four people on capital murder charges.

The Dayton Daily News requested the records Friday from the Ohio Auditor’s office and received them Monday.

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“Reader just does whatever he wants and no one ever calls him on it,” the anonymous complaint said. “We are scared to death of him. He is unstable and threatens people.”

A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office declined comment on the matter last week to WCPO, this newsroom’s partners in Cincinnati. The spokesman cited the gag-order in the Rhoden case.

Read more coverage:

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» Focus on Wagner family turns into arrests for Pike County murders

» Death penalty possible for 4 of 6 arrested in Rhoden slayings

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