WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — A Mingo County resident calls the continued employment of Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden, who plead guilty to a federal extortion charge this week in U.S. District Court, a “slap in the face” to the people of Mingo County.
“Why should the people of Mingo County be made to employ someone that’s a felon that’s not even there to do their job?”
That was the question Benjamin Cisco from Matewan had for the two members of the Mingo County Commission, John Hubbard and Greg “Hootie” Smith, who attended Wednesday’s regular commission meeting in Williamson.
So far, Baisden, the third commissioner, has missed four meetings since being named in a federal indictment. He has since admitted to ending Mingo County’s business with Appalachian Tire when the company denied him the county price for tires for his personal vehicle.
Baisden will be sentenced on the extortion charge on Jan. 14. He has indicated he will submit his resignation from the Mingo County Commission on Jan. 13. Up until then, he will still be paid his commission salary which adds up to $36,000.
Cisco said Baisden should submit his resignation immediately.
“I just don’t know why we should have to pay a convicted felon this kind of salary whenever, if I was to do these kinds of allegations and plead guilty at my job, I would have already lost mine. They would have fired me,” he said.
Commissioner Smith told Cisco resignation, a vote out of office or an ouster suit are the only methods available to remove an elected official from office. In the case of resignation, a date is up to the elected official.
“He should not be an elected official in this county. Even a federal judge told him that he could never run for elected office again,” said Cisco. “How much more clear does it need to get?”
Cisco was a guest on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
The next Mingo County Commission meeting is scheduled for Oct. 16 at 9 a.m.