CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The fallout continues following this week’s arrests of two elected officials in Mingo County on federal charges.

Both Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury, who is charged with violating a man’s Constitutional rights, and Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden, who is accused of attempted extortion, will be back in U.S. Magistrate Court to be arraigned next week.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin talked about the arrests on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”  He said the corruption charges against Thornsbury and Baisden should send a message to Mingo County as a whole.

“People see that something is being done and generally it causes further developments,” said Goodwin.  He said similar investigations in the past have cleaned up politics in other parts of West Virginia.

“I would have to believe that, if we are successful in proving these charges, the same will occur in Mingo County.”

Mingo County GOP Chair Russell Deskins said he is grateful both Baisden and Thornsbury have been charged.  “Thank goodness for those State Police guys and the FBI and the people that came in here and took up for us and were willing to get this thing straightened up,” said Deskins.

“We’ll clean this courthouse out and get this thing straightened up.  I pray that they do that.”

Soon after Thornsbury’s indictment was unsealed on Thursday, the state Supreme Court suspended Thornsbury without pay and suspended his law license pending the outcome of the criminal case against him.

Thornsbury allegedly made several attempts to go after a Mingo County man who is the husband of a woman Thornsbury had an affair with back in 2008.

“It’s just alarming and it’s disgusting and it’s a tawdry tale,” said state Supreme Court Administrator Steve Canterbury.  “There’s no denying that it’s a black eye, but the body of the judiciary is whole and the black eye will heal and we’ll get through this.”

Thornsbury, who has denied the charges, was the only circuit judge in Mingo County.

Retired Cabell County Circuit Judge John Cummings and former state Supreme Court Justice Thomas McHugh were chosen to fill in there temporarily.  They started their work on Friday morning.

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Was Baisden a dem or rep

    I have been doing a check on what party these people belong to.

  • sickofcorruption

    Let's see if big Don Blankenship will help all his buddies now

  • Larry

    More bad news about Mingo County in the Gazette today, regarding the sheriff who was killed, sounds like the problems in that county with elected officials and people in positions of authority are really widespread.

  • bill

    They need to investigate all 55 counties. I bet there would be arrests in every county.

  • Bill Hill

    There is an important lesson that come from this. First, as George Patton said, the lowest form of life on earth is a politician, and the lowest form of politician is a liberal democrat. When you put people in office and give them power and authority, I don't much care who they are, the temptation to abuse that power great and most will eventually abuse their power. The founders of this nation realized that and tried to create a form of government that limited power. However, we have pretty much destroyed that form of government and now we are seeing the result.

  • DWL

    Mingo County! Where more county commission meetings are held in a federal pen than in the courthouse. Democrat’s all the way – to the big house – or a state political cronyism position. WVSP seem to have an infestation problem. Let’s see what the democrat-appointed superintendent does with this one.

  • MT

    Democrat or Republican alot of them are crooks. Thank goodness at least these idiots will be gone!

  • Vet

    They always vote in the dumacrats and then they act surprised they've been crooked. I'm glad I'm a republican.