CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mingo County Delegates want to see a second circuit judge serving the county as a corruption scandal has Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury facing criminal charges.
House of Delegates members representing Mingo County plan to introduce legislation to add an additional judge in what is currently a single-judge circuit.
“The need for more than one circuit judge in our county has long been discussed, but the events of the past week have further shed light on the issue,” said House Majority Leader Harry Keith White in a news release. “We want to ensure that all citizens of Mingo County have access to an effective court system without delay.”
Thornsbury was arrested last week on a federal charge of abused his power by trying to have the husband of his ex-mistress arrested numerous times within a several-year period.
In the release, Delegate Justin Marcum, who serves as Mingo County assistant prosecutor, pointed out that two judges were appointed to temporarily handle Thornbury’s caseload following his suspension.
“Most circuits in West Virginia have at least two judges, and the addition of a judge in Mingo County has been advocated both within the local legal community and among legislators from this area,” said Marcum. “We think this legislation would help ensure our judicial system operates effectively, and establish more accountability within the circuit.”
Along with Marcum and White, state Senators Art Kirkendoll and Ron Stollings have expressed support.
The legislation would be introduced during the 2014 regular legislative session.