By Ben Zion Hershberg
JEFFERSON — A Kokomo man charged with theft and impersonating a public servant in tornado-stricken areas of Clark County told a judge Friday that he wants to clear his name.
At his initial hearing in Clark County Circuit Court, Gerald “Scott” Flint, 53, Kokomo, told magistrate Ken Abbott that he has “a long history of service to the state and the military.”
“I have always served honorably,” said Flint, whose dark-framed eyeglasses were mended at each hinge with red tape. Flint does not have a lawyer.
Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said in an interview after the initial hearing that Flint was charged with theft over allegations that he took supplies from a disaster-relief center in Henryville after the March 2 tornadoes there.
Flint got access to the supplies, Mull said, because “he represented himself to be with different agencies,” including the Department of Homeland Security and one called National Disaster Relief, which Mull said doesn’t exist to his knowledge.
In an affidavit, State Trooper Matt Busick says Flint came to his attention when a registered nurse volunteering in Henryville brought two bottles of prescription antibiotics to the state police and said they were given to him by Flint to be given to residents.
The nurse told the state police the antibiotics could only be issued with a doctor’s prescription.
The nurse also told police that Flint told him he was the founder and director of Volunteer Medics Worldwide, a relief organization, and he needed the nurse to accompany him to get supplies from a storage unit.
The nurse said Flint first took him to a storage unit in French Lick, where there was little of use, and then said he needed to go to his house to get supplies. Flint’s house turned out to be an hour away, in Brazil, Ind.
After getting to the house, Flint walked to the back door, and, the nurse said he heard several gunshots. When the nurse asked Flint what he was doing, Flint said, “I’m clearing my head,” the affidavit says.
Flint later told investigators he was in the military but getting out soon, and that he was assisting the Department of Defense in a murder investigation.
When the state police contacted a military investigator Flint had spoken with, the investigator told them he had spoken with Flint for three hours and that Flint had provided no “useful intelligence information.”
According to court records, Flint said he has served in the Indiana National Guard in Kokomo. In court Friday, Flint told Abbott he didn’t have $5,000 for his bail and that he owns property in the state, suggesting he isn’t a flight risk.
Abbott explained that the bond is court cash, meaning Flint must only post $500 cash with the court to be released until his next court date May 14.
An automatic plea of not guilty was entered, and Abbott told Flint that, if he posts bail, he must wear a home-incarceration transmitter on his leg, can’t go into a disaster area and can’t do any fundraising.
If convicted, Flint could face a sentence of up to three years in jail for theft and up to a year for impersonating a public servant.