Jamey Noel Had Relationship With County Auditor, State Investigators Reviewing Their Texts: Search Warrant

The massive criminal corruption investigation of former Indiana sheriff Jamey Noel now includes a series of text messages between Noel and a county employee with whom he had a relationship that included drinks at a bar and professional baseball games, according to state investigators.

Indiana State Police have seized the cellphone of Clark County Chief Deputy Auditor Jessica Huffman, according to a probable cause statement released Thursday by Lt. Jeffrey Hearon, lead investigator of the state’s sprawling probe of the former sheriff, who is accused of stealing millions in public funds as the county’s top law enforcement official.

Investigators want to search Huffman’s phone for messages and other data, according to the affidavit. Extensive emails between Huffman and Noel show conversations about a pension for Noel’s brother-in-law, Bradley Kramer, who was also a Clark County Sheriff’s Office employee, the affidavit says.

State investigators have alleged in previous court documents that Noel altered county records to obtain a pension for his brother-in-law that was not deserved. Current Clark County Sheriff Scott Maples has publicly said that pension request was one of the reasons he went to state police in June 2023 and blew the whistle on his predecessor.

The newest affidavit filed in connection with the criminal probe also said messages between Huffman and Noel disclosed a three-year relationship that included tickets to Cincinnati Reds games and meeting for drinks at a Clark County bar.

Noel was arrested in November and has been charged with 25 felony counts alleging corruption, theft and official misconduct. He has pleaded not guilty. He is currently in jail for contempt of court, after investigators recently found weapons in his home. He had been ordered to surrender all of his guns, except for a shotgun, by the special judge appointed to hear his case.

Thursday’s affidavit release shows photos of text conversations between Huffman and Noel about Kramer’s pension —  as well as conversations about the ongoing criminal probe and state audits of Noel’s spending while he simultaneously served as sheriff and the head of Utica Township Volunteer Fire Fighters Association.

Noel allegedly stole millions from the nonprofit fire agency, and more than $900,000 from the jail’s commissary fund. Recent state audits of the commissary fund and the fire agency determined Noel unlawfully spent public money on luxury cars, lavish vacations, an airplane and designer clothes totaling more than $5.2 million, according to state accountants.

Noel was told to reimburse the commissary fund and the fire agency for those expenditures, the audits said.

State investigators have said Noel backdated pension documents to show Kramer had been matron of the county jail since 2015. But Kramer did not assume that pension until 2018, making him ineligible for the 20% pension he was recommended for, authorities said.

Thursday’s affidavit release also contained new information about the pension. During an April interview with investigators, Kramer said the writing on those recommendations was not his, and that some of the dates listed on them were incorrect, according to the court document.

Neither Huffman nor Kramer has been charged in the investigation. Huffman’s attorney, Jennifer Culotta, declined comment to Inside Edition Digital. The lawyer also represents Kramer. In an earlier interview with Culotta, the attorney told Inside Edition Digital that Kramer “did not put dates on those documents” when asked for comment about the allegedly altered recommendation.

Investigators interviewed Huffman April 30 at the Clark County Auditor’s Office, according to the affidavit. The county employee was asked why she sent a screenshot to Noel of an email she’d received from Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Mark Grube, asking about discrepancies on Kramer’s employment records. The email was sent in June 2023, which is when the state’s criminal investigation began.

Huffman told state investigators she had texted Noel because she was trying to conduct her own inquiry and “wanted to see what Mr. Noel’s reaction would be” when he saw the email, according to the affidavit.

Noel’s trial is scheduled to begin in November. Inside Edition Digital reached out to Noel’s attorney for comment, but has not heard back.

Related Stories