Sheriff Richard K. Jones of the Butler County Sheriff's Office reported Friday that his office has been investigating allegations of misconduct involving Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds since late August.
The allegations are regarding Reynolds' push for $1.1 million in subsidized road improvements that would benefit property owned by his father Randall Reynolds, according to Enquirer media partner Fox19.
The situation dates back to August, when it was reported that Reynolds' parents own several properties off Hamilton Mason Road in Westchester Township. A developer from Columbus has plans to build a senior living community on parts of the parents' real estate, but Hamilton Mason Road will first require improvements in order to handle the increased traffic from the community.
Fox19 received copies of Reynolds' email where he is asking staff at Butler County and Liberty and West Chest townships for tax increment financing to make improvements to Hamilton Mason Road.
In August, Reynolds explained that he asked for the improvements as a private citizen rather than as the county auditor. In the copy of emails received, Reynolds used both his personal email and county elected office email when asking staff for the TIF.
Reynolds also said that the road improvements would not benefit him financially since the land is completely owned by his parents.
The Butler County Sheriff's Office said Friday that it has been consulting with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost as the investigation has expanded.
“Fortunately, local law enforcement rarely has to deal with public corruption in Ohio," Yost told the Enquirer Friday. "These cases can become very complicated and often require specialized expertise, which the Attorney General’s Office can bring to the table. We will work closely with Sheriff Jones until this investigation is complete.”
The Attorney General also assigned investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to assist as well, according to the Butler County Sheriff's Office.
Attempts to reach Reynolds for comment were unsuccessful.
Enquirer media partner Fox19 contributed to this story. The Enquirer will update this story when more information becomes available.