Special prosecutor appointed after auditor accused of improperly spending Pike County funds

Special prosecutor appointed after auditor accused of improperly spending Pike County funds
The Pike County Auditor is under criminal investigation due to an allegation of not properly spending county funds, state records show. (Source: Madeline Cuddihy)

CINCINNATI (FOX19 NOW) - The Pike County Auditor is under criminal investigation due to an allegation of improperly spending county funds, state records show.

The State Auditor’s Office received the complaint about Pike County Auditor Kayla N. Slusher earlier this month, on April 1, a copy of it shows.

A spokeswoman for auditor’s office declined comment while the complaint, which she says was anonymously submitted, remains under review.

“It is our policy not to discuss ongoing work until it is completed and released by our office,” wrote Alllie Dumski in an email to FOX19 NOW.

Slusher, 34, began serving as the auditor in March 2019. She “is unavailable for comment at this time,” said an employee who answered the phone at her county office Monday morning.

Last week, Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk asked for a special prosecutor “to serve in the investigation and/or prosecution of a case involving” Auditor Kayla N. Slusher, according to a copy of a motion filed last week in Pike County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Randy Deering approved Junk’s request, as well as one to appoint Robert Smith from the State Auditor’s Office.

Smith is assistant chief legal counsel to Auditor Keith Faber and is one of two lawyers on the auditor’s Special Investigations Unit.

Smith is frequently called on to serve as special prosecutor in cases investigated by SIU.

He also is asked to serve as special counsel on other cases where there may be a perception of a conflict between the prosecutor’s office and the individual charged with a crime.

One recent example of this led to the successful prosecution of now-former Pike County Sheriff Charlie Reader.

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