CLARK COUNTY, Ind. — A former Clark County sheriff is facing 15 felony charges, including official misconduct and obstruction of justice, as part of a corruption and fraud investigation led by Indiana State Police.
ISP began investigating the previous conduct of former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel, 52, five months ago on June 13 after the current Clark County Sheriff Scottie Maples said his office uncovered “many unnerving and possible criminal activities by Jamey Noel,” the department confirmed in an official statement released by the CCSO on Wednesday.
Sheriff Maples stated that he contacted ISP and requested their assistance in launching an investigation into allegations of fraud, tax evasion, ghost employment and official misconduct that centered around Noel’s previous stint as sheriff.
Maples has served as the Clark County Sheriff since Jan. 1, 2023.
The statement released by Sheriff Maples referenced the alleged discovery of a secret recording device on Dec. 30, 2022, that was reportedly found in the office of the former assistant chief. The statement asserted that the wiretap had been placed there during Noel’s term as sheriff. The wiretap was found to lead directly to Noel’s former office, according to the statement.
This prompted Sheriff Maples to order a complete and thorough review of the sheriff’s office, which led to the discovery of other alleged instances of misconduct and fraud.
The statement also referenced alleged evidence that Noel reportedly ordered CCSO employees to perform maintenance duties on his personal, business and investment properties while also being employed and paid by the CCSO.
The statement detailed a third example of alleged misconduct, stating that an officer requested a retirement benefit after submitting their resignation abruptly. The sheriff’s office said that further investigation into the approval of this retirement benefit revealed that the former employee was a family member of Noel.
“Knowing this officer did not qualify for the pension, my command staff looked into his request,” a portion of the statement said. “We found documents that appeared to have been falsified, forged, and destroyed to fraudulently make it appear that this person was owed a pension, in which they were not.”
Noel was arrested Wednesday and transported to the Clark County Detention Center where he faces four felony counts of theft, one felony count of corrupt business influence, one felony count of obstruction of justice, five felony counts of ghost employment and four felony counts of official misconduct.
Noel was later transferred to the Scott County Detention Center without bond, ISP said.
Maples also issued the following statement on the findings.
“After finding the listening device, having employees self-report that they had been forced to
work on former Sheriff Jamey Noel’s personal projects while on duty and discovering that he
allegedly participated in an attempt to defraud the pension system that so many of our
dedicated employees deserve, I called the Indiana State Police,” the statement read. “I was disturbed and very disappointed in Jamey Noel’s conduct and the steps he took to conceal information from his staff and me during his tenure as Sheriff, but I knew something had to be done.”
According to previous reports, Noel was previously named in a civil rights lawsuit filed in July 2022 by multiple women who were inmates at the Clark County Jail at the time.
The lawsuit alleged that a former jail officer sold his jail key to male inmates for a large sum of money, granting them access to the cells where female inmates were being kept. The women alleged that they were raped and assaulted.
In that particular lawsuit, Noel was accused of poor supervision and hiring jail officers without adequately training them.
Noel was also one of six Indiana elected officials who were named when a membership list linked to the far-right extremist group known as Oath Keepers was leaked in September of 2022.
ISP confirmed that it will provide an update related to the arrest of Noel at a press conference on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The conference will be held at the Clark County Judicial Center located at 501 E. Court Avenue in Jeffersonville.