The big news this week, going into the 2023 New Year, was that Joe Statzer was appointed to replace Roger Reynolds temporarily in the Butler County Auditor position. That doesn’t look good because Joe is a very close political ally of Sheriff Jones, and in this situation and many others, that isn’t a good thing. And good on T.C. Rogers as the lone Butler County Commissioner for having the intellect to vote against Joe. I know all the people in this case personally; everyone likes Joe. But this is about more than likes and dislikes. As I’ve said from the beginning of the Roger Reynolds case in Butler County, Ohio, the goal was for officeholders to get rid of the very popular auditor because they didn’t want to live up to the high bar that Roger had set. None of the characters involved, not Attorney General David Yost, Sheriff Jones, or even the court members, could have withstood the kind of political assassination that Roger Reynolds had to go through with the prosecution continuing to throw charges against him until something stuck. And of all the charges initially filed, Roger was found innocent of all of them. It was the final one that involved Lakota schools, yes, that same Lakota schools with all the same characters involved in the Matt Miller case, that had enough ambiguity in it to leave questions in the jury’s mind and get a 4th-degree conviction in having an unlawful interest in a public contract. During the trial, Jenni Logan, the former treasurer of Lakota and personal friend of Sheriff Jones, gave competent testimony. The Reynolds legal team was obviously unprepared for it since it had been a charge tacked on over the summer of 2022. It was obviously purely politically motivated based on the Jones press conference at that time and wasn’t as defined as the core of the case had been. Roger’s legal team was very well prepared for the rest of the case, the condition of a property transaction involving his father and an old neighbor.
When people look toward the police and think of corruption, it is over cases like this. When the Attorney General of Ohio gets involved in trying to push people out of office, you can see what kind of game is being played. And for what reason? Well, as people have explained to me, it’s all about Roger’s policies on full disclosure that had politicians mad, and you could see that as soon as the jury returned with a conviction. It doesn’t sound like the conviction will involve jail time, but likely probation for Roger Reynolds, but the politicians involved in pressing this case, which started with a political hit piece by Channel 19 News in Liberty Township, Ohio, just ahead of a big election, was about removing the snoopy eyes of Roger Reynolds. And knowing the personalities personally, as I do, the real deal with the case was the political power of two extremely alpha males, not the legitimacy of legal parameters. Roger Reynolds can come across as bullish when he knows he’s right about something, and Sheriff Jones likes political power for the sake of having it to apply to people around him. I see the whole matter as a human resource problem, two people who just don’t like each other, and the reasons for that dislike is one of competency and nothing else. Roger did his job too well, and that made a lot of politicians worried. So wherever Roger stumbled his toe somewhere, the prosecution looked for a window to slide in some ambiguity and see if something might stick. They wanted to convict Roger of a charge so they could designate him a felon and get Roger Reynolds off their back forever. When Roger refused to resign, they proceeded with this court case. And when it comes to wealthy people trying to explain millions of dollars of tax money wrapped up in a fancy country club, it’s hard to explain all that to a jury, even if most of the conversation was just high-brow talk. Jenni Logan knew what she was doing when she provided testimony which is why Sheriff Jones, who had special knowledge of the case fresh off his relationship with Lakota schools, so they tacked on this extra charge utterly unrelated to the previous charges in July of 2022, just ahead of the election a few months later. Roger’s trial for these matters was moved into December as a backstop in case he won reelection, which he did, easily. But one way or another, the legal machine was determined to get rid of Roger Reynolds, which they managed to squeak out one conviction out of the original seven. Once convicted, that meant Roger would have to vacate his post, which is what his political enemies wanted all along.
And if there was any doubt about any of what I said, within hours of the conviction, the political enemies of Roger Reynolds repeated what Sheriff Jones said about the case once it was over. Immediately the attention was leveled at Roger’s replacement, who most people think will be Nancy Nix, the treasurer of Butler County and a very competent person in every way that a person can be. Bruce Jones from West Chester wants the job, and the last time I spoke to him, a few weeks ago, he was pretty sure he would get it. Sheriff Jones obviously wants Bruce. But for those who want continuity of the kind of great job that came out of Roger Reynold’s auditor’s office, Nancy Nix is the personality who could best achieve that. But she, like Roger, is a Certified Public Accountant. Who wouldn’t want a CPA to run the money of Butler County? Well, if you are a politician that doesn’t want such tight controls on the money, you don’t necessarily want a Certified Public Accountant. So immediately, the political posturing went forth to smear Nancy Nix, just as the campaign was clear to smear Roger Reynolds from the start. And yes, Roger and Nancy are very good friends, just as Sheriff Jones has been friends with them both. I’d call all of them friends, so friendship doesn’t determine merit. Only actions do, and the resistance to a CPA in the role of the auditor of Butler County should alarm everyone. Sheriff Jones was too happy about being able to call Roger Reynolds a felon than he should have been, and it was disgusting to see how the law could be so abused as to take out political rivals for personal reasons rather than in upholding what’s best for the community. Remember, this is the same sheriff’s office behind the Matt Miller story at Lakota schools, so we certainly have picking and choosing going on here for political power, not what is best for the community.
What’s great about Nancy is that she is every bit as competent but what she has that many political personalities don’t have is a wonderful character. Not that Roger Reynolds didn’t but being a person who deals with millions and millions of dollars, there are personality traits that come out that most people find abrasive. It’s a common trait with most financial people, and from the perspective of Sheriff Jones, it’s an easy trait to exploit under court scrutiny, which was undoubtedly the case in this judgment against Roger. But Nancy doesn’t have that stiffness that is generally associated with financial people; she is super nice, very intelligent, engaging, and tireless. I just spoke to her the other day, and even when she’s down in the dumps, as she was very sad about what happened to her friend Roger, she has all the optimism of a person who doesn’t have a bad thought in her head. As angry as I was at the case, she was very levelheaded and composed, which was impressive. I expect that out of her, but even under these terrible conditions, she always manages to hold it together. So, I think she would be a great replacement to continue Roger Reynolds’ work in that auditor role. I’m sure Roger will do great in the private sector. Butler County will miss his great work, but Nancy could continue that great work. And that is what those who don’t want that level of competency are afraid of. You can always tell a lot about a person by the enemies they have, and based on the early reaction toward Roger, Nancy Nix, and CPAs in general, the anger is obvious. There are a lot of politicians who don’t want intelligent people snooping through their budgets. And in the end, that’s all any of this was about from the start—the desire for corruption and getting rid of the people who might stand in the way of it.