CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Monday he believes the epidemic of political corruption in Mingo County has probably been stopped as a result of recent efforts by his office and others.

Goodwin was in a federal courtroom Monday morning when former Mingo County Magistrate Dallas Toler pleaded guilty to federal vote fraud. Toler is the fourth now former Mingo County elected official to plead guilty to various charges in recent months.

“Corruption is absolutely the biggest threat to democracy and in Mingo County corruption was an epidemic and I think through these prosecutions we’ve shown that,” Goodwin said Monday on MetroNews Talkline following Toler’s guilty plea.

Toler was appointed magistrate in Jan. 2012 and he wanted to keep his job according to Goodwin so he registered a man to vote that he knew was a convicted felon. The man voted in the May 2012 Primary Election.

Goodwin said Toler, and the other three men convicted recently, former Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury, former county commissioner Dave Baisden and former prosecutor Michael Sparks, were all members of ‘Team Mingo’, which was the slate of Democratic candidates seeking election in 2012.

Goodwin was asked Monday if ‘Team Mingo’ was corrupt. He said the convictions of Toler and others may answer that question.

“He was engaged in an overall effort to keep his job and the other positions of power for he and his cronies,” according to Goodwin.

Toler will be sentenced March 10, 2014. He faces up to five years in federal prison.

Goodwin said the epidemic of corruption in Mingo County has taken a big hit but his office won’t stop now.

“We probably do have more work to do,” Goodwin said.

(Photo courtesy WSAZ-TV)

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  • Scoby

    Team mingo corrupt? HAH! More like Ali Babba and the forty thieves.

  • Wowbagger

    So team Mingo were the sacrificial goats?

  • Scott

    It's not what they did as to who called for the investigation.It's all one side when they were getting so close to unseating the big fish.

  • Larry

    At least this was just a magistrate, and not a real judge.

  • PB and J

    Booth is only doing this for his own political gains. I wish he would enforce real criminal laws the way he does white color crimes (ie felon in possession).

    Who will watch Booth and "his cronies" when he comes to power??

  • D McKeever

    Good ole Southern WV and their ignorant ways. Wonder why the rest of the country laughs at us. Idiots!!

  • Wowbager

    You mean that a state with virtual one party rule for,say over 80 years might have a corruption problem?


  • Becky

    I think the family court judge M. Thompson cases need investigated. Just saying there more corruption in mingo court house. keep up investigations. Its children getting hurt and it should be stopped!

  • Joe c ferrel jr

    Logan co is the worst in W V just ask my family

  • BAC

    Give it a couple years--Mingo County will be just as full of corrupt leaders. It's caused primarily by the fact there is no two-party system there. You'll notice that most of the corruption is in counties that are ruled by the Democrats. It breeds corruption. So you can pull up a few weeds but you're naïve if you think others won't spring from the same soil.

  • Aaron

    It's not only Mingo County as prosecutions from Logan County in recent years prove. It's all of southern WV, if not the entire state.

    What's interesting is that politicians who have served for years from those counties claim they had no knowledge of the corruption in their home counties.

    Things that make you go hummmmm

  • Benthere

    What's the name of the state senator for this district? He did not know anything about this?

  • Wowbagger

    Very selective you say. Then I wonder what these guys did to fall from favor with the ruling party?

  • Shadow

    What ever happened to the person that put a TX convict on the ballot? Would TX have paroled him if he had won? Come to think about it, he would have worked well in the Senate.

  • Woodchuck

    You could go all around our great state and do this at all levels of politics. From the top to the bottom of either party.

    But Booth is very selective and only pics media worthy cases.

    Call his office and file a report and see what happens.

  • Wowbagger


    These guys were all from Mingo County and distributed a list of endorsements for statewide races, but the endorsees were not involved.