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Judge raises Jamey Noel’s bond to $1.5 million amid new charges

Men, including one in an orange jumpsuit, inside a courtroom
Aprile Rickert
Former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel is now facing a total of 31 felony charges.

A special judge raised former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel’s bond to $1.5 million after six new felony charges were filed this week. He’s facing a total of 31 charges in the yearlong criminal investigation by Indiana State Police.

Former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel appeared in court Tuesday to answer to six new felony charges, as part of a sprawling investigation into his time as sheriff and leading a nonprofit fire and EMS company.

Noel was initially arrested and charged with 15 felonies in November, with 10 more added at the end of January.

He’s been in custody since April 9, when Special Judge Larry Medlock sentenced him to 60 days after Noel violated the terms of his bond. He’s scheduled to be released in a few days, but it’s not clear if that will happen after Medlock raised his bond to $1.5 million cash, which includes the $75,000 he posted last fall. The increase came after special prosecutor Ric Hertel asked the judge to revisit that bond in light of the new information.

“I told Mr. Noel not to do anything stupid, not to deceive me, not to defy me,” Medlock said during the hearing Tuesday. ”It didn't seem like you listened the first time.”

Noel’s new charges — five for theft and one for money laundering — include allegations that he continued to use credit cards associated with New Chapel EMS, which he previously operated, after his arrest.

Police say he used New Chapel cards for purchases over $50,000 after his November arrest and after he was terminated from the nonprofit in January.

Between Nov. 9 and March 29, he’s accused of spending more than $37,000 on an American Express card associated with New Chapel and nearly $17,000 on the organization’s Sam’s Club Mastercard around the same time. Charges included utilities, restaurants, golfing and Cincinnati Reds purchases.

The new court records also show Noel is accused of using sheriff’s office commissary funds on five lawnmowers totaling more than $18,000. He sold two to former Scott County Sheriff Kenny Hughbanks and Donovan Harrod, a former Clark County Sheriff's Office employee who ran unsuccessfully for county council in this year’s primary. Both told investigators they were unaware the lawnmowers were purchased with sheriff’s office funds.

He’s also accused of using the money for an HVAC system to buy a Dodge Ram from New Chapel, though he never titled it to the agency.

Police say he also took multiple shipping containers belonging to the department.

The new charges also allege he used New Chapel funds to pay for expensive cars, a small airplane and child support to former Clark County Council member Brittney Ferree.

“It appears that you have … did have … an airplane, a train that was hidden, a stable of exotic motor vehicles, a harem of women, at least three mansions, at least $3,000 suits, $800 belts, which you get personally delivered,” Medlock said.

He accused Noel of “flaunting luxuries” while residents are “trying to survive, working paycheck to paycheck.”

“My responsibility is to the citizens of Clark County in the state of Indiana,” Medlock said. “And I think this is what must be done in order to continue to protect their interests and restore their faith in the rule of law.”

Noel’s attorneys did not comment to news media after the hearing.

Hertel, the prosecutor, said he hoped the judge would consider the new charges and other information that has come out since November.

“Frankly, I commend Judge Medlock for the bond that he set at this point in time, taking these charges seriously,” Hertel said.

Noel’s wife, Misty, and daughter, Kasey, were also previously charged in the investigation. Attorney General Todd Rokita recently filed civil lawsuits to try to get the Noel family — including all three daughters and two associates — to repay millions of dollars in New Chapel and sheriff’s office funds they’re accused of spending or benefitting from.

Those lawsuits followed Indiana State Board of Accounts audits which looked into financial activity at New Chapel and the sheriff’s office commissary funds.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly mischaracterized Noel as using sheriff’s office funds to buy shipping containers. The story also misidentified an accusation about political donations as a formal charge. A clarification was made to show he’s accused of buying a Dodge Ram from New Chapel with sheriff’s office funds and not titling it to the agency.

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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