CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The federal indictment against Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury alleges many people at the Mingo County Courthouse knew about the judge’s affair with his former secretary and became suspicious when Thornsbury went after the woman’s husband.
The indictment said Thornsbury tried to get his secretary to leave her husband but she wouldn’t do it. The indictment then details how Thornsbury repeated attempts to use his friends and others he had influence over to force that to happen. But time after time the judge’s alleged efforts failed because he didn’t get the full cooperation he was hoping to get.
–Jeff Cline, a resident of Mingo County and close friend and confidant of the judge.
The indictment says Thornsbury gave a small container of drugs to Cline to put under the truck of the secretary’s husband. Cline decided not to go through with the plan.
–Jarrod Fletcher, Mingo County Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Friend and business partner of Thornsbury.
Fletcher was appointed by the judge as foreperson over a county grand jury. The indictment says Judge Thornsbury planned to use the grand jury to “harass and oppress” the secretary’s husband, members of his family and his co-workers. The plan was to indict the husband. It didn’t happen.
–State Trooper Brandon Moore, assigned to Mingo County from 2007-2010.
The indictment says Judge Thornsbury “purposely cultivated” a relationship with the trooper that allowed the judge to influence Trooper Moore’s officials duties. On Dec. 1, 2008 Moore filed grand larceny charges against the secretary’s husband even though there was no evidence to back the charge. The charge was eventually dismissed. It’s also alleged Moore falsely testified under oath to the grand jury.
The State Police announced Thursday that it has launched an internal investigation into Trooper Moore’s conduct. He is on paid administrative leave.
–Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks
The indictment says Sparks recognized criminal charges against the husband were improper in Dec. 2008 and disqualified himself from the case. That started a process that led to the case being dismissed by then Mingo County Magistrate Eugene Crum.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said none of the persons listed above would be indicted in connection with the charges against Thornsbury.