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Indiana State Police focusing on former Clark County employee amid Noel investigation

Former Sheriff Jamey Noel, Attorney Larry Wilder and Prosecutor Richard Hertle in a Clark County courtroom
Giselle Rhoden
Former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel at his initial hearing last November.

Indiana State Police got court permission this week to search the home and office of a former Clark County Auditor’s Office employee, as part of the sprawling criminal investigation of former Sheriff Jamey Noel.

Indiana State Police are digging into documents and information from former Clark County Chief Deputy Auditor Jessica Huffman, as the criminal investigation against Jamey Noel continues.

Noel is facing 25 felonies including theft, ghost employment and corrupt business influence. He pleaded not guilty but is currently serving a 60-day sentence for violating the terms of his bond.

The court granted permission this week for investigators to search documents, files and digital devices at Huffman’s Jeffersonville home and her office at the Clark County Government Center.

The new warrants come days after court records revealed allegations of a three-year relationship between Noel and Huffman. Police secured a search warrant last week for Huffman’s phone, after viewing a text thread that showed she had provided Noel information about inquiries into the sheriff’s office, and that they’d communicated about the criminal and Indiana State Board of Account investigations.

Huffman had previously given police permission to search a specific text thread between her and Noel, but said they'd also communicated through other apps. That’s what prompted the search of the whole phone. Records released Thursday show Noel and Huffman also communicated through WhatsApp and Snapchat, and that she had a secret folder to save photos to and other files from the app.

Police found more than 100,000 images on the phone — including some that showed Huffman had used her county credentials to access personal information on current and former Clark County Sheriff’s Office employees. The records say that includes former employee Russell Garrison, who was arrested in 2022 for DUI after crashing an unmarked Clark County Sheriff’s Office car.

The records say Huffman and Noel “met frequently” and that she had photos of them at a mansion he and his wife own near Utica Pike in Jeffersonville.

Further investigation of the phone shows it also appears Noel had given Huffman “gifts and assistance for her future run for political office,” though the records don’t specify what those were.

Noel previously led the Clark County Republican Party and Indiana’s 9th Congressional District Republican Party, until stepping down from both earlier this year amid the investigation.

Huffman is not charged with any crimes.

WHAS News reported earlier this week Huffman had been suspended. A Clark County human resources representative confirmed to LPM News on Thursday that Huffman was “no longer employed by the entity.”

The new warrants also give police permission to search Huffman's 2019 GMC Terrain, and a 1970 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Police say Noel used funds from the Utica Township Volunteer Firefighters Association, also known as New Chapel EMS, for a down payment on the Corvette and a 1971 Camaro.

This story has been updated.

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

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

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