WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — Mingo County prosecuting attorney Michael Sparks and Magistrate Dallas Toler have resigned and agreed to plead guilty to charges as part of the ongoing federal investigation into political corruption.
Sparks and Toler are the latest to be caught in a probe that already led to guilty pleas by former Judge Michael Thornsbury and ex-County Commissioner David Baisden. Both Thornsbury and Baisden resigned their positions after pleading guilty to charges. They are now awaiting sentencing.
The federal information reveals Sparks participated in a conspiracy where Thornsbury violated the rights of an accused drug dealer, George White, to protect his close friend, slain Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.
The information against Toler accuses him of participating in vote fraud by knowingly registering a convicted felon to vote.
Regarding his resignation, Toler told the Williamson Daily News: “The safety and well-being of my family is the most important thing to me. My position as magistrate takes a second seat to them and I feel the time has come to resign and concentrate on my family and remove this stress from their lives.”
Federal investigators have been trying for months to unravel the corruption in Mingo County.