Written by: Sam Orlando
CLARK COUNTY, INDIANA - In a recent development that has shaken Clark County, Indiana, former Sheriff Jamey Noel is facing a litany of charges including theft and ghost employment. The charges come after a comprehensive five-month investigation by the Indiana State Police, culminating in his arrest last week.
Jamey Noel, who served as the sheriff from 2015 to 2022, is now at the center of a scandal involving misuse of sheriff’s office resources for personal gain. Court documents allege that Noel used employees, while on the clock for the county, for work on his personal and business properties. This misuse extended to properties associated with the Utica Township Volunteer Firefighters Association and New Chapel EMS.
The allegations against Noel further involve his involvement in trading or selling vehicles, including luxury and vintage cars, through the nonprofit fire department for personal profit. The release of over 660 pages of court documents, including warrants and subpoenas, has provided more insight into the investigation's findings and the extent of Noel's alleged misconduct.
What Investigators Found
Searches conducted at multiple locations, including Noel’s home and a pole barn, led to the seizure of numerous items. These included nearly two dozen cars from Noel’s barn, a significant amount of cash found in various locations in his home, and various electronic devices.
In one striking instance, investigators discovered a 1974 Cadillac ambulance among the cars in Noel’s possession. Additionally, over $50,000 in cash was found in a bedroom drawer, with nearly $2,000 more in a safe in the basement. In Noel's 2023 Dodge Durango, another $6,000 in cash and two cell phones were found, one of which had been factory reset moments before seizure by authorities.
County Employees Working on Personal, Business Properties
The beginning of the investigation in June revealed that four sheriff’s office employees had been carrying out work on various properties associated with Noel. This work included plumbing, electrical tasks, and general handy work at Noel’s properties. These employees also reportedly worked on Noel’s personal car collection and vehicles belonging to the Utica department.
One employee, who repaired cars from Noel’s collection and those belonging to the Utica department, reported receiving checks and a W-2 from the Utica department for this work. This employee also transported cars for trading or auction using jail equipment and gasoline.
Subpoenas and Financial Investigations
The investigation has extended beyond Noel to include financial records for his family, the fire and EMS company, and Genco Group LLC, a company registered to Noel. Subpoenas also targeted financial records of former Scott County Sheriff Kenny Hughbanks, who has worked for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. In one instance cited in the documents, Noel traded a Utica-owned vehicle for a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, later selling it to Hughbanks.
Jamey Noel, currently released on a $75,000 bond following his initial hearing, is scheduled for trial in May. With the investigation ongoing, authorities have indicated that additional charges could be forthcoming, pending further audits and investigations by state departments.
The case against the former sheriff has brought to light not only alleged personal misdeeds but also raised questions about the oversight of law enforcement officials and their use of public resources. As the community awaits the trial, the reverberations of this scandal continue to be felt throughout Clark County and beyond.