CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks told the state Supreme Court Friday he should not be suspended in connection with federal charges filed against Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury.
The federal information filed Thursday said Sparks was part of a conspiracy that pressured a drug defendant to switch attorneys because the defendant was talking with the FBI about the drug habits of former Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum. In exchange, the man would be given a lighter sentence by Thornsbury.
Sparks strongly denied any wrongdoing in a response filed Friday with the High Court through his attorney Lonnie Simmons.
The response says Sparks “categorically denies taking any improper actions or being involved in any scheme as suggested in the information.”
The petition filed by the West Virginia Office of Disciplinary Counsel Thursday said Sparks can no longer represent the interests of Mingo County residents and should be immediately suspended by the Supreme Court.
Friday’s response filed by Simmons told the High Court Sparks has not been charged with any crime and “voluntarily, on his own initiative, without a subpoena or immunity agreement, cooperated with federal investigators into the actions of Judge Thornsbury.”
No word on when the Supreme Court will make its decision.