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Court releases more than 600 pages of documents related to former Southern Indiana sheriff’s arrest

A portrait of former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel in uniform
Clark County Sheriff's Office
A judge has released more than 660 pages related to the criminal case against former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel.

A judge has released more than 660 pages of documents — including warrants and subpoenas — in the criminal case against former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel.

Noel, who held office from 2015 to 2022, was arrested last week on 15 felonies including theft and ghost employment, following a five-month investigation by Indiana State Police.

Initial court records released last week show he’s accused of using sheriff’s office employees on the clock for the county to work on his personal and business properties, as well as work on properties associated with nonprofit Utica Township Volunteer Firefighters Association and New Chapel EMS.

He’a also accused of trading or selling vehicles — some luxury or vintage with hefty price tags — through the nonprofit fire department for his own personal gain.

The hundreds of pages of records released to news media this week provide more insight into what investigators were looking for and what they found when warrants were served in mid-August.

What they found

Warrants served in August at Noel's home, his pole barn and three locations of the fire and EMS company led to investigators seizing vehicles, phones, computers, dozens of boxes of documents.

This includes nearly two dozen cars taken from Noel’s barn, among them a 1974 Cadillac ambulance.

A search at his home also turned up more than $50,000 in cash in a bedroom drawer, and nearly $2,000 in a safe in the basement.

In the 2023 Dodge Durango Noel drove to the pole barn the day the warrants were served, investigators found another $6,000 in cash and two cell phones — one they say had been factory reset just before they took possession.

In the car’s visor, they found a paper that appeared to be a list of vehicles Noel was trading for a dump truck. They called a local dealer who confirmed Noel had taken possession of a 2022 Chevrolet 5500 Silverado dump truck with a deal to trade several vehicles for it.

Police also took vehicles from a pole barn belonging to Noel’s daughter, including a 2024 box truck and a Kubota 4x4 mule, which they say belonged to his daughter but had a key with a tag indicating it belonged to Utica/New Chapel.

Attorneys for Noel and his wife have filed documents in court arguing that the warrants did not list all of the property that was ultimately seized. At least two cars misidentified as belonging to the Utica department have been returned to Noel.

Investigators found records of more than 130 vehicles registered to the Utica department or New Chapel, including some on a list they say “appeared inconsistent with a not-for-profit fire department and EMS business.”

According to a 2020 tax audit by the Indiana State Board of Accounts, the Utica Township Volunteer Firefighters Association only listed six vehicles in their inventory, valued at around $2.1 million. Investigators say in court records that list “fails to document the additional 127 vehicles registered with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.”

County employees working on personal, business properties

At the start of the investigation in June, police said they talked with four employees who worked in maintenance at the sheriff’s office.

They reported working on plumbing, electrical and general handy work at Noel’s Jeffersonville home, rental property, father-in-law’s house and properties associated with Utica or New Chapel. These include repairing gutters, installing paneling and carpet, hanging pictures and fixing a shower, urinal and ice maker.

The witnesses also say they helped with concrete, HVAC and electrical work on a pole barn Noel had built in 2018.

One sheriff’s office employee also reported repairing cars from Noel’s large private collection as well as some belonging to the Utica department. He said he received checks and a W-2 from the Utica department for work on Noel’s cars.

This employee also transported cars being traded or auctioned off — many registered to the Utica department — using jail equipment and gasoline. He provided investigators with more than 5,500 photos, nearly 300 videos and several years of texts between him and Noel related to selling cars.

Subpoenas from the investigation

The documents released this week include more than two dozen subpoenas — including financial records for Noel, his wife and daughter, the fire and EMS company and Genco Group LLC, which is a company registered to Noel. Investigators have also subpoenaed financial records from 2015 through November 2023 for Kenny Hughbanks and companies associated with him. Hughbanks is the former Scott County sheriff and has also worked for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Original court documents last week showed that in 2020, Noel traded in a Utica-owned vehicle for a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, titled it in his name, and later sold it to Hughbanks for $39,500.

Investigators have also sought vehicle transaction information from multiple companies.

They indicated in records last week that additional charges could be added, pending information from audits and investigations undertaken by the Indiana Department of Revenue and State Board of Accounts.

Noel is currently out on bond, after posting $75,000 following his initial hearing last week. His trial is currently scheduled for May.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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