Complaint: Pike County sheriff has gambling problem, may have stolen money


    There are new details out on what prompted an investigation into Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    WAVERLY, Ohio (WKRC) - An anonymous complaint filed with the Auditor of State prompted an investigation of the Pike County sheriff for misuse of funds kept in evidence at the sheriff's office, according to a document released Monday.

    The complaint alleges that Sheriff Charles Reader has a gambling problem and had access to money seized in drug cases. The money was kept in a safe that only Reader could access. The complaint also claimed Reader borrowed several thousand dollars from a deputy who worked for him because he had gambled his own money away.

    The complaint goes on to state Reader owes a car dealer more than $20,000 and that Reader allowed his daughter to drive cars impounded by the sheriff.

    "We are scared to death of him. He is unstable and threatens people," the complaint states.

    The anonymous complaint was filed Nov. 9 via email. Investigators with the auditor's office served search warrants on Reader's office Thursday. Pike County Auditor Erica Snodgrass confirmed that her office was served with subpoenas Thursday, but she would not comment further, citing the open investigation.

    The state auditor's office declined comment, also citing the ongoing investigation.

    Sheriff Reader's office is handling part of the investigation into the murders of the Rhoden family along with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Those killed in April 2016 were: Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, his ex-wife Dana Manley Rhoden, 37, and their three children, Hanna May Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16 and Clarence "Frankie" Rhoden, 20. Frankie Rhoden's fiancée, Hannah "Hazel" Gilley, 20, was also killed, along with Christopher Rhoden's brother Kenneth Rhoden, 44, and cousin Gary Rhoden, 38.

    Billy Wagner, his wife Angela and their two sons, George and Jake, have been charged with eight counts of capital murder in the murders. Attorney General Mike DeWine has said custody of a daughter Hanna Rhoden and Jake Wagner shared was part of the motive in the case.

    Reader did not respond to a text message seeking comment. His attorney, James Boulger, said he could not comment because he had not yet seen the complaint.

    News In Photos

      Loading ...