Indicted Pike County sheriff says he’s running again

PIKE COUNTY — Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, who is indicted on more than a dozen charges including theft in office, announced Friday that he is running for re-election as “The People’s Sheriff.”

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Reader, who is suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case against him, has pleaded not guilty to the 16 charges.

Prosecutors said Reader abused his position to acquire cars, request loans from his employees and that he altered records to cover up his crimes.

Reader became a well-known name amid the investigation into the 2016 execution-style shootings of eight members of the Rhoden family in Pike County. Eventually, the Wagner family — a couple, their two adult sons — were charged with murder in connection to the homicides.

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The charges against Reader are not connected to the slayings.

In his announcement that he plans to run in the November 2020 race, he said he plans to run as an independent candidate because “politics do not belong in law enforcement.”

“Our citizens need a sheriff who has developed trust throughout his community,” Reader said  on Friday. “The people need a sheriff who has the experience to deal with criminals and who will get involved. They need a sheriff who is not afraid to drive his truck through a field and chase after a convict.”

While Reader is suspended, his release noted that the filing deadlines to enter the race happen before the conclusion of the criminal cases that he said should happen in the spring.