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Former Carmel Police Officer accused of using fake Facebook profile to make derogatory comments

Posted at 11:00 AM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 17:22:46-04

CLAY COUNTY — A former Carmel Police Department officer is facing charges in Clay County after state police say he made a fake Facebook profile to post derogatory comments about someone running for sheriff in a Facebook chatter group.

According to court records, Andrew Longyear, 32, of Fishers, used photos of a Georgia man to post in the Brazil Indiana Chatter Facebook group about Josh Clarke, who is running for Clay County sheriff, and Emily Clarke, his wife, who is the current Clay County prosecutor.

He is charged with one count of identity deception, a Level 6 felony, and one count of conversion, a misdemeanor, according to online court records. He is charged in a Clay County court, but a special prosecutor from Sullivan County filed the charges.

According to a press release from Indiana State Police, Longyear is a former deputy and detective of the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Carmel Police Department Lt. Tim Byrne said Longyear resigned from the department on Thursday morning. He started working for the department in June 2021.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Longyear told detectives he made the profile to remain anonymous and made the posts to share information he didn't think people knew about candidates.

The person whose photos and name Longyear was using told a state police detective they spoke with Josh and Emily Clarke and said they "seem like hard-working, honest and professional people," according to the affidavit. They also said he was upset someone would use their pictures and name to "diminish all their accomplishments."

Longyear's resignation comes after the recent resignation of Carmel's police chief and a deputy chief said he would retire after the chief recommended his termination.

In an email statement to WRTV Thursday, the city said "the Carmel Police Department is nationally accredited and always acts quickly and transparently on all matters. The Mayor has complete confidence in Chief Barlow to respond to situations such as this thoroughly and to continue to provide for the public safety in Carmel."