Jan. 29—Butler County Treasurer Nancy Nix pulled petitions for the county auditor's office Friday because she said she needs to be the "backup" plan if County Auditor Roger Reynolds' legal problems force him out of office.
Nix pulled petitions Friday and is expected to file them by the Wednesday deadline because Reynolds' future is uncertain and county officials want to make sure the top financial office in the county is secure.
"I don't wish for Roger to lose his job," Nix told the Journal-News Friday evening. "I don't really view it that I'm running against Roger Reynolds but more maintaining the stability for taxpayers in the county. As we know he's got some ethics, legal issues that have yet to be resolved."
Reynolds is under a criminal investigation into whether he has done anything wrong in trying to get $1 million in public funds for mandated road improvements so his father's West Chester Twp. property can be developed into a senior living community.
Attorney General Dave Yost has assigned investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to the case. The situation also has been referred to the Ohio Ethics Commission, but that entity cannot comment.
"We're still working on it, we're working with BCI and their agents, coordinating efforts there and speaking on a regular basis with the special prosecutor and taking his advice," Butler County Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer said last week.
Steve Irwin, Yost's press secretary, told the Journal-News this week the investigation is ongoing.
There also is a civil suit against him. He is set to face a jury in 18 months, when he will defend himself against bribery, ethics violations and interference charges in a lawsuit filed by a West Chester Twp. man.
Nix told the Journal-News that because the auditor is the top financial officer of the county she wanted to make sure the county is in good hands whatever happens with Reynolds.
"I just don't feel like it should be left to chance," she said. "As a CPA, former banker, longtime county treasurer I just feel I have the appropriate training and qualifications if he can't continue serving in that role."
Reynolds could not be reached for comment Friday evening.