UPDATE: Carmel police chief resigns less than a week after deputy chief’s suspension

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Jeff Horner

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has accepted the resignation of Carmel Police Department Chief Jeff Horner, the city announced Monday. The resignation comes less than a week after Horner suspended the department’s deputy chief of administration after an investigation revealed multiple allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”

Retired Police Chief Jim Barlow will serve as interim chief until a permanent replacement is chosen, the city said.

Later on Monday, Carmel sent a follow-up announcement that said Horner would remain on the police force as a lieutenant.

“The City of Carmel wants to clarify that when a police chief resigns or is removed from their appointed position as police chief, he or she reverts to their merit position on the police force,” the city said. “We would like to further clarify that Jeff Horner has resigned from his appointed position as chief, but will remain with the Carmel Police Department as a lieutenant.”

Horner served as police chief for about seven months after Barlow retired in January. Barlow led the police department for about 4-1/2 years.

On July 20, the city announced that Horner had suspended Deputy Chief of Administration Joe Bickel and recommended to the Carmel Police Merit Board that Bickel be dismissed from the police department.

Dan McFeely, a spokesperson for the city, declined to provide additional information about Horner’s resignation or say if it was related to Bickel’s situation.

“The City of Carmel has no further comment at this time,” McFeely said in an email.

An external investigation uncovered allegations that included claims that Bickel groped the breast of a female employee, attempted to forcibly kiss another female employee, and kissed the hand and neck of third female employee.

The investigation also found that Bickel allegedly attempted to use his position of authority to influence a Carmel Police Department employee to violate a departmental standard operating procedure to benefit a family member.

Bickel, a 28-year veteran with the Carmel Police Department, was suspended following the investigation.

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14 thoughts on “UPDATE: Carmel police chief resigns less than a week after deputy chief’s suspension

  1. Can we guess how long Bickel was known to be a problem by everyone including the chain of command? Years? How many complaints did it take?

  2. Great, now fire CPD officer Jonathan Rice for arresting my disabled mother for DUI despite being sober & blowing a 0.0, impeach the Hamilton County Sheriff for holding her until she “sobered up” despite having an all-negative blood test, and get rid of the Hamilton County Prosecutor for refusing to drop the case – for which he had no evidence – until my mom’s medical records submitted to his office.

    Nothing smells good in Hamilton County.

  3. So the Clark County cops that literally gave the jail keys to the inmates will get demoted 1 step down, and the elected idiots have no consequences whatsoever. Good to know how this all works

  4. Former Indianapolis Star reporter Dan McFeely should “loosen up” on requests to disclose information on this public issue. The IBJ’s federal judge honoree (in its Indiana 250 feature) cited, as a principal worry “How the institutions of government bear up… to preserve and strengthen our democracy. Too often, we continue to be a “State of Secrecy” (the title of the 1998? statewide survey of agencies’ willful disregard of Indiana’s the Access to Public Records Act.