WAVERLY (FOX19) - Suspended Pike County Sheriff Charlie Reader is caught on camera using profane language at a deputy serving him with a subpoena.
“Hey, sir, how are you doing?" The deputy asks his former boss as he approaches Reader to serve a subpoena, according to a minute-long video obtained by FOX19 NOW.
“I’d be better if you’d get the f--- off my property,” Reader tells him on the video.
“Understood,” the deputy responds.
The video shows the deputy serving Reader with official papers Reader was required to sign.
Reader scribbles on a piece of paper the deputy hands him, doing it so fast the paper flies onto the ground as he finishes, the video shows.
The deputy picks up the paper and tells Reader: “Thank you, sir," as he hands him an envelope, which Reader is seen snatching out of his hands before walking away, according to the video.
Reader went on Facebook over the weekend and discussed the incident in a lengthy post.
The civil service, he wrote, has “NOTHING” to do with his pending criminal case.
Reader, who has been sheriff since 2015, was indicted earlier this year on eight felonies and eight misdemeanors. He remains free on his own recognizance, has pleaded not guilty and is suspended.
He is accused of conflict of interest, theft in office, theft, tampering with evidence, tampering with records and securing writing by deception.
“In regards to the video released of me “being served today," Reader wrote Saturday night, "I am under a lot of pressure and stress. I have built my life on criminal justice and on a law enforcement badge. I feel very hurt and broken through these recent happenings. As you can imagine, the respect I once had for the badge is dwindling each day as I fight everyday to find hope. I regret my words.
“The deputy, however, was wrong for secretly recording,” Reader continued. "The Sheriff’s office does not have office issued body cams and the video that was released was done so by the deputy, himself, and not the office, which is in violation of office policies. I am evaluating my legal options at this time and have made contact with the Interim Sheriff and discussed this matter. No other comment on this matter will be made by me. It will, however, be by my legal team. Enough is enough.
“This civil service had NOTHING to do with my pending case as the headline would lead you to believe,” he wrote. “It was a subpoena for me to appear and give testimony at a deposition on former Pike County Deputy Joel Jenkins whom I terminated after he killed his neighbor with a firearm provided to him by the Pike County Prosecuting Attorney.”
Reader ended his post with the following hashtag: “#THEPEOPLESELECTEDSHERIFF”
We left two messages seeking comment Monday with Reader’s attorney, James Boulger of Chillicothe, and another two messages also seeking comment from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office but did not hear back.
“The video speaks for itself," said Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk when we reached him for comment Monday.
Junk confirmed his office is looking into whether Deputy Erik Zirneskie taped his encounter with Reader to protect himself under whistleblower laws.
He said depositions are scheduled for Friday in the case that Reader was subpoenaed on. It’s one related to a former deputy sheriff.
Jenkins pleaded guilty in 2017 to reckless homicide in the 2015 fatal shooting of a neighbor, Jason Brad he said had asked him for a lesson on how to disarm someone.
A wrongful death suit related to Brady’s death is still pending in Pike County Common Pleas Court, according to Junk.
The Pike County Sheriff’s Office does not have body cameras for deputies, though at least one sworn member of the staff has used a camera for years, Junk said.
Deputies should use the cameras, Junk said, noting that other law enforcement agencies in the area do such as the Waverly and Piketon police departments.
“The problem, though, is it’s a matter of money,” Junk said. "The good body cameras are not cheap and it also costs to store the video. You have to have servers and things like that.
“I can’t speak for (Acting Pike County) Sheriff (Jim) Nelson, but I do know his budget situation and it is not good. He inherited all kinds of financial problems at the department. This is not his fault that we don’t have the cameras. But it comes down to money, though.”