CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Charleston attorney for the Mingo County man who was the alleged target of Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury was already filing lawsuit notices on Friday.
“I don’t think anyone is going to argue that this is a travesty of justice and my client has been grossly abused by the system in Mingo County,” said Mike Callaghan who is representing both Robert Woodruff and Kim Woodruff.
Thornsbury, 57, was arrested this week and charged with violating the Constitutional rights of Robert Woodruff, identified as R.W. in the indictment, by making multiple illegal attempts to have him arrested and jailed.
Federal prosecutors claimed Thornsbury was doing so to try to get Woodruff’s wife, Kim, to resume a relationship with him.
According to the indictment, Kim Woodruff was working as Thornsbury’s secretary when she and the judge started having an affair in early 2008. She ended the affair several months later, said she wanted to stay with her husband and left her job the following year.
Thornsbury is accused of pursuing criminal action against Robert Woodruff up until 2012.
“After being a lawyer since 1990, a federal prosecutor, a defense lawyer, a plaintiff lawyer, I can say I’m just absolutely shocked, floored,” Callaghan said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine something like the allegations contained in that indictment.”
Thornsbury allegedly tried to plant drugs on Woodruff, have him arrested for stealing scrap metal even though he had permission to take the material and punish him for a fight when he was the victim.
Callaghan represented Woodruff in two of those criminal cases and said he knew something was strange. “I never did imagine that this was being driven by Judge Thornsbury and his nefarious motives,” he said.
Callaghan said both Robert and Kim Woodruff are “going through a tough time” now but are still together.
State law requires a 30 day notice for any lawsuits involving state agencies or employees. On Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Callaghan did not say who specifically would be named in the filings.