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.

Read the federal case against Michael Sparks.

Read the federal case against Dallas Toler.

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.

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  • Ole Man

    I have lived in Mingo, my parents voted in many elections after they had passed away, and pole workers were told about it, their answer, we'll check on it. Rass Runyon on his death bed told everyone what happened, nothing done. I worked for Johnny Owens. Very likeable person, Mingo has not changed and is not going to change, maybe there is a transfusion needed.

  • Good ole Mingo

    Totally agree reality check. That faction should be next, and then start new in the county. Mingo county needs to have the state take control and place people out of mingo county in the positions until real elections could be held in May. Then maybe elect mingo county people to offices.

  • tony

    yeah if he was conservative numbskulled white man, it likely woulda been a male secretary involved

    • James Lane

      Plus, they are not "liberal" democrats. They are all conservatives.

  • David

    And you Repubs aren't the same way? Give me a break! They're all crooked!

  • realitycheck

    wonder when Team Chafin will get caught up in this. No doubt both factions are involved in serious misconduct.

    • Scott

      They will walk and take the county back.I really believe the biggest crook of this county is the very one calling the shots on this and I live here.Know a whole lot more about how it is than the posters on this sight.

  • George P

    This county needs shut down. All indications are Goodwin's office has more charges on the way. Our squeaky clean state regime (see greyhounds and grey machines in corruption handbook) need to show them how it is done.

  • Joe

    Is the guy on the right a picture of Toler or the deceased voter he registered?!

  • Mickey

    The corruption you speak of has nothing to do with affiliation with the Democratic Party. If you're going to throw crap at politicians lets look at Bush/Cheney and ask yourselves, when billions of tax dollars were sunk into an unnecessary war in Iraq and based on lies about caches of weapons never found, who in the white house made billions with a little known company called Halliburton...? It sure as hell wasn't rich republic-rats' kids on the ground fighting in that war, either, was it? And one more thing: the dirtiest bastard in the county of Mingo is Don Blankenship. When Republucan appointee Chuck Miller in the US Attorneys office was handed Dons balls on a silver platter visa vis' two widows who'd sued Donnie for their husbands deaths, then US attorney Charles Miller cut a deal: made the company plead guilty to bad things and pay fines, and in exchange signed an agreement not to pursue any person up the chain of command. Then came Upper Big Branch and 29 miners lost their lives in a horrific explosion that should've never come close to happening. So take that Party denigration bull and shove it up your Republican a_s.

    • bulldog95

      Stopped reading after you blames Bush. He has been out of office for 5 years. I know good and well about Bush, and while he was no saint, he cant be your scapegoat forever can her?

  • BAC

    What is Mingo County--nine-to-one in Democrat registration? One party states and counties can expect corruption, nepotism, incompetency, cronyism and a Mafia-like atmosphere.

  • Vet

    Being one of the few republicans of Mingo County it feels good to say " I told you so "

    Why the honest working people still support democrats is beyond belief . I get why the non working check grabbing dope heads vote democrat , but not the honest working folks.

    • Richard

      There are far more republicans in Mingo county than registrations indicate. Wasn't the former judge, who ran as a democrat for years, a candidate for the republicans?

      Isn't one of the county commissioners a former chairman of the republican party in Mingo county, but now runs as a democrat?

      And lets not forget that a convict received more votes than the black president in Mingo county's presidential primary and Romney won the county handily

      So it looks like the non working check grabbing dope heads voted for Romney as they are definitely in the majority here.

      • bulldog95

        That convict you speak of was during the primary. Only democrats were allowed to vote on that ballad. Thanks for hammering home the point that democrats are a bunch of uninformed voters that vote along party lines.

  • Dale

    Iceberg, you are sooooooo right! Maybe Mr. Toler "gives a Hoot!!"

  • Iceberg

    I'm going to go ahead and state the obvious. Dallas Toler was appointed by former Circuit Judge Mike Thornsbury. It was reported, that at Toler's swearing in Thornsbury claimed Toler was the most qualified Magistrate he'd had the honor of appointing....seriously?!? But after all that has transpired, we'd better consider the source. The plans "Team Mingo" had to dominate Mingo County have crumbled beneath their feet. I'm curious to see who else in Mingo County is on shaky ground right now. Safe to say there are probably some nervous elected officials in Ol Mingo...ask yourself, when a ship is sinking what creature jumps ship first? Answer: THE RATS

  • Hillboy wv

    Thats hilarious. Pleading quilty and it being part of his plea agreement had nothing to do with toler stepping down. It had everything to do with him stepping down. If he was going to step down for his family he would have done it before the charges come out.

    • Typical

      LOL, I agree. Toler acts like he did nothing wrong and is willingly stepping down because, you know, he's such a nice guy.


  • Mister X

    Where is Truman Chaffin in all of this?

  • Brian

    Shameful attempt by Toler to frame his resignation as some noble act of martyrdom to protect his family. Just resign in disgrace and hope to avoid a conviction.

    • Paticia Curry

      I think they also need to investiage the feds as well wonder how much dirty landry do they have hid from the community for years they want to look at MINGO COUNTY what about them I think u need to clean ur own house or closets before u start on anybody elses.

    • zerotolerance