Three retired judges have been appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to consider the suspension of Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader.

As previously reported by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, on Tuesday, July 2, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed “an amicus brief with the Ohio Supreme Court in support of Auditor Keith Faber’s office calling for the Court to initiate proceedings for removing Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader from office.”

The Ohio Supreme Court has released the following announcement:



“On July 1, the state of Ohio presented a request that the chief justice establish a special commission of three retired judges pursuant to R.C. 3.16(C). Pursuant to R.C. 3.16, the special commission shall be established by the chief justice, not sooner than 14 days after receipt of the request, to consider the suspension from public office of Charles Reader, Pike County Sheriff, in relation to felony charges pertaining to official conduct in office.

“Accordingly, the following three retired judges are hereby appointed and directed to proceed as provided by R.C. 3.16: Retired Judge Janet R. Burnside; Retired Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove; and Retired Judge John G. Haas.

“Pursuant to R.C. 3.16(C)(1), at least one member of the special commission is of the same party as the public official and all members of the special commission shall receive compensation for their services and reimbursement for expenses incurred in connection with special-commission functions, from funds appropriated by the attorney general’s office.

“It is further ordered that Jesse Mosser, staff attorney in the Office of Chief Legal Counsel at the Supreme Court of Ohio, shall serve as secretary to the special commission, with authority to contact the parties, schedule hearings and sign orders on behalf of and at the direction of the special commission.”

A judgment entry of “provisional suspension” against Reader was filed in Pike County Common Pleas Court Wednesday, July 10.

As previously reported, Reader was indicted on 16 counts by a Pike County grand jury Friday, June 28, with charges including:

• One count of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree;

• One count of tampering with records, a felony of the third degree;

• Three counts of theft in office, a felony of the fourth degree;

• One count of theft in office, a felony of the fifth degree;

• Seven counts of conflict of interest, a misdemeanor of the first degree;

• One count of securing writings by deception, a felony of the fifth degree;

• One count of theft, a felony of the fifth degree; and

• One count of theft, a misdemeanor of the first degree.

According to court records, Reader was arraigned July 2, where he entered a not guilty plea to all 16 charges. He was released on his own recognizance. Reader was also ordered not to talk to any of the state’s witnesses, not to discuss the case on social media and to “surrender all keys and key fobs to the courthouse.”

A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 12. Reader is being represented by criminal defense attorney James T. Boulger. Boulger also represented Hillsboro mayor Drew Hastings, who was acquitted of theft and election falsification charges after a jury trial in Highland County Common Pleas Court in 2016. (Judge Cosgrove, appointed to the commission regarding Reader’s suspension, also presided over Hastings’ trial.)