Former Clark County Sheriff pleads not guilty to corruption charges
Former Indiana sheriff arrested in corruption probe
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel pleaded not guilty to 15 felony charges Thursday afternoon.
Minutes after posting his $75,000 cash bond, Noel walked out of court with his attorney. When they saw WISH-TV’s camera, they turned around and walked away.
His first court hearing was the culmination of an investigation that started in June.
“There’s been 13 search warrants to date. There’s been 41 subpoenas to everything from bank accounts to a multitude of other things,” Special Prosecutor Richard J. Hertel said.
According to the probable cause affidavit, one of those search warrants was served at Noel’s pole barn in Utica, Indiana.
The pole barn itself was allegedly built with labor from employees of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office while they were being paid with taxpayer money.
During the search of the pole barn, law enforcement seized 30 cars connected to the investigation.
Noel is also the CEO of the Utica Township Volunteer Fire Fighters Association. In that role, he’s accused of trading expensive cars titled in the name of the association for other cars that he would put in his name and then personally pocket the money when he sold them.
The probable cause affidavit gave four instances of that happening. Noel allegedly pocketed $186,000.
The special prosecutor in the case says their investigation is not over yet.
“One thing the state is waiting for at this point in time is an audit. The audit is being done by the Indiana State Board of Accounts (along with) a review of tax records by the Indiana Department of Revenue. We’re unsure when that will be completed and what results and what happens after that that may take us in a new direction and may provide additional insight into some of the things that were going on,” said Hertel.
In court Thursday, Noel’s attorney and the prosecutor fought over how much his bond amount.
“The state believed he was a flight risk and presented evidence of that sort, and the judge certainly agreed to that because he tripled what the state asked for,” said Hertel.
While out on bond, Noel has to turn over all of his guns, except for one shotgun that he’s allowed to have for personal protection.
Noel’s attorney, Larry Wilder, declined to comment for this story. He told I-Team 8’s Kody Fisher that all of our questions would be answered during his opening statement of the trial currently scheduled for May 2024.