CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two Mingo County elected officials went before a federal magistrate Wednesday to enter their pleas.
Both Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury and County Commissioner David Baisden plead “not guilty” during their arraignments in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Dwane Tinsley at the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse in Downtown Charleston.
Last week, both were arrested.
Thornsbury is charged with two counts of conspiracy. He allegedly had an affair with his former secretary and, when she broke off the relationship, the judge is accused of attempting to have the woman’s husband arrested several times on false charges.
When asked by Judge Tinsley how he wanted to plead, Thornsbury said, “Absolutely not guilty!” His trial is set for October 15 in front of Judge Thomas Johnston. Thornsbury told the judge he has surrendered his passport.
Meanwhile, Baisden is charged with extortion. He allegedly canceled the county’s contract with Appalachian Tire when the company refused to give Baisden the same rate for tires for his personal use that the county receives for its fleet.
Baisden also said, “not guilty’ when asked by the judge about his plea. His trial is set for October 21 in front of Judge John Copenhaver. As he left the federal courthouse, Baisden said to reporters, “We will settle this in court.”
Both men are free on $10,000 bond.
Thornsbury has been suspended from the bench by the state Supreme Court.
Baisden resigned as the Mingo County’s purchasing agent Wednesday morning. However, he has not stepped down as county commissioner.