Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader agreed Wednesday to a suspension with pay from his duties following his indictment last month on 16 criminal charges related to his office.

Ohio Auditor Keith Faber had already started the process to have the Ohio Supreme Court suspend the sheriff, a move that Reader had said that he would fight while entering the Pike County Courthouse for his criminal arraignment July 2.

Faber said that Reader's decision to agree to the suspension "enables the community to maintain confidence in the sheriff’s office while the legal process continues."

In paperwork that the state auditor filed with Pike County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday, Reader acknowledged that he has been hamstrung from running his office.

"I do recognize that the Ohio Auditor's Office's seven-month investigation of me and the Sheriff's Office has adversely affected the functioning of the Office and has caused debilitating stress for me," he wrote.

Reader, 45, was not arrested after the charges were filed and has been free on a recognizance bond since his arraignment. He was allowed to report to work but was essentially unable to do anything, with the judge on the case ordering that he surrender all keys and his key fob that gained him access to the courthouse.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office had previously canceled his access to the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, an online warehouse that allows law enforcement to share information with each other, and he had lost privileges to a database of crime information known as LEADS. He had been cut off from listening to radio transmissions and had been court ordered to not have any contact with anyone on the state's witness list, which includes seven of his currently 16 certified deputies.

"Under these circumstances, I can no longer discharge the functions and duties of the office of sheriff," Reader wrote in his response to the suspension demand by the auditor's office.

The state has previously said the suspension would be with pay.

Reader, sheriff since 2015, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, which include seven counts of conflict of interest, four counts of theft in office, two counts of theft, and one count each of tampering with evidence, tampering with records and securing writings by deception.

Eight of the charges involve a Chevrolet Silverado truck and a Nissan Versa, though no other details of the accusations against Reader have been provided. The tampering with evidence, tampering with records and theft in office charges all relate to “evidence envelopes,” the indictment says. The conflict of interest charges stem from Reader either taking or asking for loans totaling $3,000 from one county vendor, as well as loans totaling $6,000 from his employees, including one from his former chief deputy.

Reader was propelled onto a national stage in April 2016 when eight members of the Rhoden family were shot to death overnight in his county. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has said that Reader “played no material role” in the Rhoden investigation and that his pending criminal case won't affect the ongoing prosecution of the four members of the Wagner family, who have been charged with aggravated murder.

State law says that Pike County commissioners can let the command staff at the sheriff's office remain in place — Chief Deputy Bob Barbee would be in charge — until the county Democratic Central Committee meets to name a replacement, or the commissioners can name a temporary replacement themselves to hold the position only until the central committee decides, something it must do between five and 45 days after the office became vacant.

Barbee said Wednesday afternoon that the residents of Pike County have nothing to worry about.

"We will function without a hiccup," Barbee said.