A grand jury in Butler County has indicted county auditor Roger Reynolds on criminal charges related to public corruption.
Reynolds, 52, faces one count of bribery, two counts of unlawful interest in a public contract, one count of unlawful use of authority and one count of conflict of interest, according to a Feb. 9 statement from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
The first three counts are felonies, while the final two are misdemeanors. The bribery charge potentially brings nine months to three years of jail time and a fine of $10,000. The other two felonies could add six to nine months.
Among Reynolds’ alleged crimes, the auditor attempted to persuade local and county officials to approve $1 million in road improvements where his parents own property, applied pressure to a landowner to sell property to Reynolds and attempted to derail that landowner’s business dealings after they denied the sale to Reynolds.
The case is being prosecuted in Butler County Common Pleas Court.
Yost says his office “will be transmitting a copy of the indictment to the Ohio Supreme Court” to initiate proceedings to have Reynolds suspended from his position as county auditor. The Ohio Revised Code 3.16, “authorizes the Court to initiate suspension proceedings against a public official who has been charged with a felony in a state or federal court when the felony relates to the performance of the official’s duties,” Yost says.
“These crimes are a betrayal of public trust,” Yost says.
Reynolds is up for reelection this year. He has been auditor since 2008.
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