Mingo County

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

A special joint-session of the legislature was held in the House chamber Friday in response to the recent crises caused from this week’s storm. Officials wanted to explain Governor Tomblin’s State of Emergency declaration and to update lawmakers about current conditions and what they can tell their constituents affected by the storm.

Alpha Idles Coal Operations in Logan, Mingo Counties

Jan 30, 2015

BRISTOL, Va. (AP) - Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources Inc. says it has notified workers at coal mines in two West Virginia counties that the company plans to idle their operations.
     The decision will mean the loss of nearly 100 jobs.
     In an announcement today, Alpha said the affected mines are in Logan and Mingo counties. The company cited weak market conditions and federal anti-pollution regulations.


Unemployment rates fell in 27 of West Virginia's 55 counties in November.

Baisden Wants Prison Sentence Vacated

Dec 1, 2014
Ashton Marra

 A former Mingo County commissioner who pleaded guilty to extortion wants his prison sentence vacated. The Charleston Gazette reports David Baisden is asking a federal judge to throw out the 20 month prison sentence he was given in January. 

Lawsuits Against Former Mingo County Judge Settled

Nov 19, 2014
Judge Michael Thornsbury
Associated Press

Two lawsuits against former Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury have been settled.

Robert Woodruff's federal lawsuit alleged malicious prosecution, false arrest and wrongful imprisonment. His wife filed a separate suit in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Federal court documents say Robert Woodruff's case is settled.

The Woodruffs' attorney, Mike Callaghan, says the wife's case has also been settled. He declined to specify settlement terms.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

A West Virginia Supreme Court ruling says a Mingo County judge position improperly on the November ballot must be removed.

The court on Wednesday sided with West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant on the Eighth Family Court Circuit issue.

On Wednesday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin picked Sabrina Deskins to complete the remainder of former Eighth Family Court Circuit Judge Miki Thompson's term. The next election for the position should be November 2016.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

A judge is considering motions to dismiss a lawsuit alleging a Mingo County magistrate was targeted for opposing corruption.

Magistrate Deloris "Dee" Sidebottom's lawsuit says former Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury, former prosecutor Michael Sparks and former state police Trooper Brandon Moore conspired to force her out of office.


A West Virginia town is being recognized for its efforts and accomplishments to improve health. Williamson has implemented several programs over the past several years.

Judge Michael Thornsbury
Associated Press

  A former Mingo County judge who pleaded guilty to a corruption charge is appealing his 50-month prison sentence.

The Williamson Daily News reports that Michael Thornsbury's attorney has filed a notice of appeal with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

Thornsbury pleaded guilty to conspiring to deprive campaign sign maker George White of his constitutional rights. Prosecutors said Thornsbury participated in a scheme to protect the late Sheriff Eugene Crum from accusations that the sheriff bought prescription painkillers from White.

Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

 Environmentalists and a landowner have agreed to resolve a lawsuit over runoff from a reclaimed mountaintop removal mine in Mingo County.

Under a proposed consent decree, Hernshaw Partners LLC will apply for a permit from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to cover selenium discharges from the former mine site.

The agreement was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. If approved by the court, the consent decree would end when Hernshaw Partners obtains the permit, or 18 months following the consent decree's effective date, whichever comes first.

Judge Michael Thornsbury
Associated Press

A former Mingo County judge has been sentenced to 50 months in prison for federal corruption charges.

Michael Thornsbury was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Thornsbury pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to deprive George White of his constitutional rights.

The conspiracy charge was related to a scheme to protect the late Sheriff Eugene Crum from illegal drug use accusations.

Mingo County, Williamson
Flonight / wikimedia Commons

The soon-to-be former Mayor of Williamson is charged with making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service just hours after resigning from his post.

Williamson Mayor Darrin McCormick submitted his resignation letter Monday, but didn’t give a reason for the departure. That information was made public Tuesday and was followed by an information from US Prosecuting Attorney Booth Goodwin.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

A former chief magistrate is the latest defendant sentenced to federal prison time in a probe of corruption in Mingo County, West Virginia, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today. Dallas Toler, 45, of Delbarton, West Virginia, was sentenced to 27 months of imprisonment.

Last December, Toler admitted in federal court that he falsified a voter registration application during the 2012 primary election campaign. Toler faked the application so that a convicted felon, still on probation and thus barred from voting, could vote for Toler’s Team Mingo faction. 

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

The government is seeking the maximum punishment of one year in prison for a former Mingo County prosecutor.

Michael Sparks is scheduled to be sentenced next Wednesday in Charleston federal court on a corruption charge.

Judge Michael Thornsbury
Associated Press

The seat vacated by convicted former Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury remains unfilled more than a month after a deadline under state law to find a replacement.

An advisory panel in December recommended public defenders Teresa McCune and Jonathan Jewell to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin as potential candidates to replace Thornsbury until the May 13 primary election.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

A former Mingo County prosecutor's sentencing in a federal corruption investigation has been pushed back a week.
Michael Sparks will be sentenced March 5 in U.S. District Court in Charleston. Sparks had been scheduled for sentencing next Monday.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

The Williamson office building that formerly housed a pain clinic is being given to the West Virginia State Police.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Monday that the agency also will receive $340,000 in cash proceeds forfeited by one of the operators of Mountain Medical Care Clinic.

The pill mill was shut down in 2010 following a federal investigation that ended with several criminal convictions.

Ex-Mingo Magistrate Pleads Guilty to Vote Charge

Dec 2, 2013

A former Mingo County magistrate has pleaded guilty to illegally registering a felon to vote in the 2012 primary election.

Dallas Toler entered his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. He's scheduled to be sentenced March 10, 2014.
Toler was accused of knowing in April 2012 that a person known to the U.S. attorney's office was on probation for a felony at the time the voter registration application was submitted.

Federal informations released Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office charge former Mingo County Chief Magistrate Dallas Toler and Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks in separate cases. They are the latest charges in a string of federal indictments in Mingo County, recently leading to guilty pleas from a circuit judge and county commissioner.

Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden walking out of the U.S. District Courthouse in Charleston.
Ashton Marra

Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge stemming from a federal investigation into corruption in the county. Baisden agreed to a plea bargain from federal prosecutors and will await his sentencing in January.