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Suspended Pike County Sheriff Fails To Qualify For Fall Ballot

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, here at a news conference in November 2018, made worldwide headlines following the 2016 murders of eight Pike County family members.
John Minchillo
Associated Press

Pike County voters will choose a new sheriff this November, but one thing is certain—it will not be suspended sheriff Charles Reader.  

In a Facebook post Friday, Reader wrote that 22 of the signatures he collected to qualify for the ballot were rejected by elections officials.

The Pike County Board of Elections confirmed that account. It noted that in some cases, addresses or signatures didn’t match what they had on file, and others weren’t registered to vote. 

"This is simply a oversight in the election laws versus being truthful when circulating a petition," Reader wrote.

Reader has been suspended from his post since July of last year as a felony corruption case against him proceeds. He faces nearly 20 charges including theft in office, tampering with evidence and a pattern of corrupt activity.

Reader has pleaded not guilty to those charges and voluntarily agreed to his suspension.

While Reader says falling short of the signature threshold was “disappointing and heartbreaking,” he chalked it up to a lesson learned.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.