State Auditor Glen Gainer has sent a letter to Mingo County officials, increasing the pressure on Commissioner David Baisden to resign or be fired.

Baisden pleaded guilty last week to a federal extortion charge for his attempt to use his position to try to get a price break on a set of tires for his personal vehicle.  Baisden is also identified as a co-conspirator in the charges that brought down former Mingo County Judge Michael Thornsbury.

Baisden is trying to hang on to his $36,000 a year commissioner’s job until he’s sentenced in January.  So far his fellow commissioners, John Hubbard and Hootie Smith, have been compliant.

In his letter, Gainer cites his authority as Chief Inspector of public offices to call for Baisden to step aside.

“He (Baisden) has… engaged in official misconduct as defined in W.Va. Code 6-6-1 and is subject to removal provisions of that article,” Gainer writes in the letter addressed to Baisden, Hubbard, Smith and Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks.

Gainer calls on the officials to notify him by Oct. 15 whether Baisden has voluntarily resigned.

“If he refuses to resign, please indicate whether another county official will institute the appropriate removal proceedings,” Gainer writes.

Meanwhile, there is also a solid legal argument that resignation or removal are not necessary because the conviction means he has automatically vacated the position.

Charleston Attorney Taylor George researched this question for me and concluded that both state law and the state Constitution specify removal upon conviction.

Article 9, Section 4 of the state Constitution says for county officials “upon conviction… their office shall become vacant.”  Additionally, State Code 6-5-5 says when a public official is convicted, “their office shall become vacant.”

George says the fact that the Code and the Constitution contain the same language means, “these two sections operation together to automatically vacate the office upon conviction.”

So these are self-executing provisions.  By law, Baisden’s position on the Commission became vacant the moment he pleaded guilty.

Good for Gainer for stepping up, and thanks to George for doing some unpaid research on this case.  Apparently Baisden and his cronies want to continue to do business the Mingo County way, which is to make up the rules as they go along to suit themselves.

And they’ll get away with it as long as they can.



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  • Shelly

    Where is our glorious SOS in all this?
    Oh yes, solving the national debt crisis....

  • D.P.

    David - Had you inserted Obama, Reid and Pelosi in place of "The Tea Party," you would have had a VERY VALID ARGUMENT!

    These three WACKJOBS would like nothing more than for the U.S. to become a TOTALLY SOCIALIST NATION!

    It no longer surprises me that FAR LEFT ZEALOTS LIKE YOURSELF are 100% behind these three deceitful clowns!!!!!

  • vashti

    Mr. Baisden has resigned.

    Most Democrats in this state are democrats because that who gets votes not because they follow Democratic policies. in most states WV democrats(particularly at the statelevel) would be moderate republicans

    corruption in both parties is disgusting and vile. it eats at the public confidence in government and governing.
    tea partiers have been given a break in the media in the current shutdown. clearly the 80 house members along with Senators Cruz, Lee and Rubio who forced the issue did so willfully and with total disregard for the consquences. there can be no other interpretation though i doubt that will be accepted by the folks on this page. most are strongly conservative and intransigent in their viewpoints no matter what the facts may say.

    is that liberal enough for you folks.

    • MojoJojo

      what exactly, are the consequences??

  • sally jo

    senator chafin, drunk driving in a blind alley..hey, hey, wire tapping, hey ,hey, buying votes, hey, hey same o, same o....gotcha

  • MojoJojo

    Corruption == liberal progressive DEMOCRATS.
    1989 Two DEMOCRAT WV Senate Presidents convicted.
    1993 Two WV DEMOCRAT Lottery officials convicted.
    1990's DEMOCRATS in the WV Treasurer's office convicted.
    The corruption in Mingo County? All conducted by DEMOCRATS.

    • Hillboy

      Mingo County--hotbed of liberal, progressive politics. first time I've heard that.

    • bulldog95

      Corruption does cross party lines but when its a dem, it tends to get buried really quickly and the people that frequent this board disappear too, especially those like TD and hiphop. If it were a republican they would be hammering the drum to bring back public hangings.

  • John

    What about J. Fletcher? He was to serve as jury foreman illegally, and did; and people of Mingo question what else.o..? Then John Mark and Hootie would not terminate Fletcher, but granted a long term suspension. WHAT? Long that forever with benefits. We, the good people of Mingo should bring an ouster against the county commissioners...

  • DWM

    Following up on Jesse's email. It would appear that the liberal media have done their work to paint the Tea Party as extremists, but I think in practice, that's not the case. For example, I think the Tea Party has a more positive standing than the current administration.

    I'm not a Tea Party member, but I think a great many of us, inside and outside that organization, look at the expansion of government and get concerned about our liberties now and certainly where this is all going.

    • DonaldH

      Nor am I a T-party member but I always failed to see them as the rabid, radical, anarchist the media, as well as the Black Caucus and other Congressional Members often paint them... The charges are baseless and totally fabricated....

      • David

        DonaldH, Oh, no, you're very wrong about the Tea Party rank-and-file. They're quite rabidly anti everyone who disagrees intelligently with their brand of tunnel vision - to the point that they quite gleefully want to destroy the country. I guess it goes along with their goal of being the best-armed - if they succeed in destroying the country, they hope to be the only folks who survive. Post-apocalyptic America is their dreamland.

        • MojoJojo

          Kool-aid here. Get your ice cold progressive Kool-aid here.

        • DonaldH

          You mean the very same elderly ladies I've seen with T-bags stapled to their bonnets are armed to the teeth and are gleefully plotting to destroy their own country... Those rotten, crazy old bitties!!!

      • Hillboy

        I agree. The Tea-Party has been misrepresented by the media. Besides being presented as radical and anarchistic they have also been portrayed as working class and middle class. Studies have shown that their median income and educational levels are above average.

  • DonaldH

    On a side note: Hoppy seems to be deploying a strategy in "tempering" the tempers with 3 editorials in a row that aren't as,,, we'll just call them controversial ,, yeah, that's what we'll call'em-- not controversial!!!

    That kindly elderly liberal lady on Hop's show that wanted the Government to deploy snipers to blow the heads off of Tea-partiers must taken Hoppy back a bit...

    • CaptainQ

      WOW DonaldH! I missed that show. So, some kindly elderly liberal lady on Hop's show wanted the Government to deploy snipers to blow the heads off of Tea-partiers?

      So much for "Free Speech", huh?

      • DonaldH

        Hoppy let her talk....

        • DonaldH

          Let me back up and make sure that's what she was saying... Hoppy, isn't that what I heard on last Wed. Thurs. show, A lady wanting snipers outside the Capitol Building blowing the heads off of Tea-Party Legislators as they enter the building?

          • DonaldH

            I thought that's what I heard...

          • Evan S.

            DonaldH, let me chime in on this.

            I heard the lady on last Thursday's Talkline. She started out her comments with stating that she has always been in favor of gun control, but quickly turned coat and made comments about how the government out to have trained sharpshooters atop buildings in DC so that they could wipe out the Tea Party members.

            Talk about hypocrisy! Caught Hoppy in a bit of shell shock initially ("Oh My Heavens!!!"), but, he let her continue her insane rambling just because it was so far-fetched and warped. Everyone, both conservative and liberal, should have cringed at that ignorant woman's comments.

    • Jesse's girl

      Should I duck?? Today they will use drones.
      The Tea Party simply stands firmly for the US Constitution and is requesting that it be followed. What a radical concept!

      I respect the sancity of life and have never wished nor advocated for someone to be killed (that has nothing to do w/ war nor the death by the state of convicted killers). I do not rejoice when a dictator is killed, but realize that it is a necessary deed. Life is to be celebrated and death mourned.

      Is it not amazing when those on the left who barrage us with their goodness and compassion show their true feelings? I wonder if that was Lynn? I remember in college hearing that a "holocaust" could never happen again. As someone who understood "human nature" I never got aboard that bandwagon.

      • David

        Jesse's girl,
        Godwin's Law. You lose.
        "The law is sometimes invoked, as a rule, to mark the end of a discussion when a Nazi analogy is made, with the writer who made the analogy being considered to have lost the argument."

        • Shadow

          Is that in the Democrat Party Bylaws? If not, it should be.

          • DonaldH


        • DonaldH

          Jesse's girl didn't make an analogy of Nazi's or Hitler-- An analogy between Human Nature and mass murder was made....

  • JTC

    Politicians should serve two terms, one in office the other in prison.

    • CaptainQ

      Many WV politicians sort of end up that way anyway, just ask Arch Moore.

      • Wowbagger


        Arch Moore's biggest shortcoming was assuming since he was a popular Republican he could behave like a Democrat.

      • DonaldH

        ...And Wally Barron, whom made Arch look like a Boy Scout.....

        • Jesse's girl

          Amen! There was William Marland.

          The Democrats were out to get Moore for shutting down their collection racket in the DOH. They decided to unionize so that they did not serve at the will and pleasure of the Moore administration as mandated and went on strike during a huge snow storm, so Arch fired them--a very popular move with the citizens of the state.

          The DOH/State Road Com., whatever it was called, has traditionally been the $-laundering arm of the State government under the Democrats: Hulett C. Smith, WW Barron. Does it continue...............?

          • CaptainQ

            WV history is riddled with lots of corrupt politicians. Some Democrats, some Republicans, some who did jail time and many who SHOULD'VE done jail time but were never caught.

            Point well taken.