WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – Mingo County has a new prosecutor. Just one month after Michael Sparks stepped down from the job after he was charged in a federal corruption investigation his replacement has been named.

Teresa Maynard, who’s been an assistant prosecutor with Mingo County for 8 years, was named interim prosecutor last month. During Wednesday’s Mingo County Commission meeting she was appointed to the position permanently.

Maynard said this is not the way she expected to move up the ladder.

“It is a little bittersweet. This is not where I thought I would be when I entered the prosecutor’s office in 2005,” said Maynard. “If someone had asked, this was not the situation that I thought I would be in.”

But despite the unexpected circumstances, Maynard is confident she is ready to take on the challenge, especially after serving 30-days as interim prosecutor. She said she’s facing questions about her own connections to Sparks and others facing criminal prosecution.

“Having faced it and gotten through the most difficult part, I’m excited today to get this opportunity,” stressed Maynard.

As for her naysayers, Maynard said let her work do the talking.

“They just need to step back and give me my opportunity and I can prove everything they’re saying is wrong,” according to the new prosecutor.

She said she plans to run the office with efficiency and the utmost professionalism.

“I think we keep doing what we’ve done for the past 30 days. We keep fighting for justice in this county. We are going to do that fairly but we’re going to do it fearlessly.”

Maynard said along with the usual cases that come into her office, she plans to put extra effort into a particular area.

“There’s going to be a focus on child abuse awareness from my office. We are going to prosecute people who don’t take care of their kids,” promised Maynard.

She wants to team up with the Mingo County Board of Education for her staff to go into the schools to talk about child abuse and how they prosecute those crimes.

The county commission also chose Mike Carter as a new county commissioner Wednesday. He replaces former Commissioner Dave Baisden who resigned after pleading guilty to a federal attempted extortion charge. Carter was not at Wednesday’s commission meeting.

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