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Man in solar battle compromises with other homeowners

Solar panel compromise

Richard Essex | News 8 at 6 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis resident Joey Myles is an accountant by profession, a solar energy advocate by accident.

He wore a bright yellow shirt Tuesday with the words “Let the sun pay your electric bill,” his favorite shirt, he says.

Joey Myles outside his home. (WISH Photo)

A monthslong battle with his south-side homeowners association over solar panels on his home has led Myles to the Indiana Statehouse.

The law he is working to pass would restrict homeowners associations from creating rules or covenant language designed to restrict the placement or use of solar panels.

“Twenty-five states already have the law I’m trying to get passed here in Indiana,” said Myles.

When Myles built his house, the HOA allowed solar panels — with a catch.

“They said, ‘Well, we can’t let you put them there. That is going to be street-view, and people are going to see them, and they are going to think they are ugly,” Myles said in an April interview with News 8.

His panels were out of sight from the street then and not nearly as efficient as he said they could have been in direct light.

Over the weekend, Myles was allowed to move the panels, again with a catch.

“Finally, they said you can put them all in the west as long as you have solar skins on all of them. (That’s) a thin layer of film that goes over the top of the solar panel that makes them look like a roof shingle, and it can be tailored  to any sort of roof,” Myles said.

Myles doesn’t spend a lot of time looking at the panels on his roof, but Rebecca Brenton, his new neighbor of three months, does.

“They don’t bother me; I wish I had them on that side of my house,” Brenton said.

Myles is the first person to use solar skins in Indiana. He could have chosen a darker version, but they would lose efficiency,

“Solar Skin, what they say, is a good compromise with HOAs is to do 85%, so these are 85% efficient skins. So even though I lose a little efficiency with the skins, moving from the north to the west and putting the skins on them, it is a net increase of about 28% annually,” said Myles.

He plans on taking his bill back to the Indiana General Assembly in 2020.


2 Columbus police officers arrested, facing charges of misconduct, ghost employment

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Two Columbus police officers have been arrested on multiple charges including official misconduct and ghost employment.

According to Indiana State Police, Dan Meister and Ron May were arrested for allegedly working off-duty security jobs while also working on duty with the Columbus Police Department. An investigation into the officers began in November 2018 after a request was made by the Columbus Police Department.

Lt. Dan Meister and Sgt. Ron May allegedly worked overlapping shifts for both the police department and Columbus Regional Hospital between February 2015 and August 2018. The officers were paid by CPD and the hospital for the same hours worked on multiple occasions.

Meister had overlapped hours on 52 different occasions and May overlapped on 62 occasions, investigators say.

The investigation was turned over to a special prosecutor and arrest warrants were issued for the men on Friday. They were arrested Friday afternoon without incident and taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, police say.

Both officers are facing charges of official misconduct, ghost employment and theft.

May and Meister are expected to face initial hearings soon.

Information about how long they have worked with CPD was not immediately available.