BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. — The man at the center of a political corruption case in Mingo County is asking for charges against him to be dropped.
George White appeared in court Tuesday asking to have his guilty plea vacated. The prosecutor handling the case, Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Keith Randolph, will have until next week to respond to the request.
White, 65, ran a sign business in Delbarton earlier this year. According to federal prosecutors, late Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum owed him $3,000 but instead of paying the debt, Crum sent an undercover officer to buy drugs from White, then arrested him.
A short while later, White and his attorney, Charles “Butch” Vest, began talking to federal investigators about White having supplied Crum with prescription drugs.
When Crum found out about that, he and other Mingo County officials including former Mingo prosecutor Michael Sparks and former Mingo circuit judge Michael Thornsbury, conspired to allegedly offer White a lighter sentence if he hired a new attorney and stopped talking with federal investigators.
Both Sparks and Thornsbury have pleaded guilty to federal charges for their roles in a scheme.
White did what they said and changed lawyers, hiring former Mingo County prosecutor Ronald Rumora, and then pleaded guilty to a drug charge. Thornsbury was set to reconsider White’s sentence, but resigned from the bench before he could do so.
Prosecuting Attorney Randolph must file a response by Dec. 9. Another hearing is scheduled Dec. 13 at 9:30 a.m.