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Airborne-Unlimited-07.10.24 HOLIDAY


Sun, Dec 31, 2023

Sheriff's Aircraft Subject of Investigation

Noel's Station As Sheriff Lasted From 2015 to 2022

Former Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel's aircraft is now the subject of a seizure authorization due to its murky financing.

Noel's 1958 Cessna 172 gained the interest of investigators when they began to suspect it had been purchased with volunteer firefighter funding but used as a personal plane. The aircraft was listed to the Utica Township Firefighter Association.

Noel's station as sheriff lasted from 2015 to 2022, with previous stints as the founder of New Chapel Fire and chief of Utica Fire. An affidavit filed by Indiana State Police described their thought process in suspecting the aircraft's personal use via a few tips and inferences. Noel was reported as creating a CCSO Aviation Department, gaining an aircraft and 5 helicopters from government surplus stocks, with 2 additional aircraft purchased using Sheriff's Office funds. The previous owner described selling the Skyhawk to Noel for $25,000, which he believed was intended solely for personal use. The check came from the fire department's account, however. The purchase wasn't the end of the county's costs, however. Repairs to the Cessna after purchase cost $17,000. Then, only a few weeks before his arrest, Noel attempted to charge the aircraft's registration to the fire department, reassigning it from being registered to himself. The move followed his notification of the criminal investigation.

Noel has racked up an impressive number of charges, with 15 felonies for theft, public corruption, and ghost employment after his arrest in November. His accusations include paying for personal vehicles out of Utica fire funds, having Sheriff's Office employees work on his private properties on the County dime, and misappropriation of government property. While seizing vehicles in the investigation, investigators found Noel to have 133 vehicles, with dozens registered to the Utica Fire Department and New Chapel EMS. Some included very un-fire-appropriate things like a Corvette, Cadillac Escalade, and Dodge Hellcat.



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