News and Tribune

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January 8, 2014

Clark County court employees placed on unpaid leave

Investigation of drug program personnel precedes suspensions

JEFFERSONVILLE — Two employees of the Clark County Drug Treatment Court have been suspended from their duties and are on unpaid leave, according to a Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 clerk.

The drug treatment program is handled out of the circuit court, which is presided over by Judge Jerry Jacobi.

While the clerk who confirmed the suspensions did not want to be identified, she said that Jeremy Snelling, a bailiff in Jacobi’s court, and Susan Knoebel, a Clark County Probation Officer and the drug court’s director, have been suspended from their duties “indefinitely.”

The clerk said that Jacobi plans to issue a news release Thursday morning. The court employee said she did not know the nature of the release.

Each of the three Clark County Commissioners — John Perkins, Jack Coffman and Rick Stephenson — said Wednesday afternoon they have been told only “unofficially” of Snelling and Knoebel’s suspensions. They said they have been unsuccessful obtaining more information related to the matter as of 3:30 p.m.

Jacobi declined to take a call from the News and Tribune on Wednesday.

A private investigation into drug court personnel was ordered in recent months by Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael. She said she hired a private investigator at the request of Jacobi.

A phone call seeking comment from Larry Wilder, Knobel’s attorney, has not been returned, nor was a text sent to Snelling.

Carmichael declined to release the findings of the investigation to the News and Tribune, citing that it was a personnel matter as her reasoning for withholding it.

The investigation centered around the arrest of a drug court participant, according to the invoice from Fleeman Investigations submitted to the county.

That participant, James Hendrick, claims Snelling came to his workplace, placed him in handcuffs and transported him to the Clark County Jail on Sept. 23, and that Knoebel, Snelling’s supervisor at the time, was present.

Snelling, who does not have arrest powers as a field officer for the court, has denied ever placing a drug participant in handcuffs. However, Knoebel said Snelling has handcuffed at least one participant of drug court while under her supervision, although she did not say who, when or where.

Check back to and read Thursday’s edition for updates to this story.

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