WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — The news and sports editor of the Williamson Daily News says former Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury did run Mingo County like “Boss Hog,” the notorious character depicted in the television series “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

“He’s one of the ringleaders,” said Kyle Lovern of Thornsbury on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” “I still think there are others. For months now, we’ve heard the rumors that there will be more indictments with other elected officials involved, so everyone is wondering when that’s going to occur.”

On Monday, Thornsbury was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Charleston to 50 months in prison for violating a Delbarton man’s Constitutional rights as part of a scheme to protect late Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum from a federal drug investigation.

The only circuit judge in Mingo County, Thornsbury helped force George White to switch attorneys, plead guilty to a drug charge and spend almost 300 days in jail.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston called Thornsbury’s conduct “appalling and unacceptable,” claimed he ran the Williamson courthouse “like the regime of a Third World dictator” and said the sentence he was imposing on Thornsbury went beyond sentencing guidelines to “send a message.”

The sentence, which did reflect Thornsbury’s cooperation with federal investigations, was still double the recommendation.

Michael Sparks, former Mingo County prosecuting attorney, is now scheduled to be sentenced on July 7 for his role in that scheme.

“Most people think there are others involved who are elected officials and that there are other things that have happened. There’s ongoing investigations, some things that will come out, hopefully, in the future,” Lovern said.

“Let’s hope that that does happen because we’d like to see a real clean sweep here.”

In March, Dallas Toler, 45, a former chief magistrate in Mingo County, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for knowingly registering a convicted felon to vote in 2012. That person voted for “Team Mingo,” a slate of candidates that included Toler and the others charged.

In January, David Baisden, 67, a former Mingo County commissioner, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for attempted extortion.

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  • East Lemon

    You should have asked someone connected to the news department at the Daily News. This guy has not covered the story nor been at any of the hearings that I am aware of and who gave him the title of "News Editor"? I think that either you did or he did himself. I think others are much more deserving of that title

  • Katie Vance

    I think Thornsbury should have gotten at least 20 years. He's nothing but trash. He was so hard oneveryone else. Acted like he was the perfect citizen. He should be ashamed of himself. Evidently he has no shame. He and his constituents are lower than a snake's belly. I hope how soon the rest of Team Mingo get caught in their dirty deeds.

  • Judge Jimmy

    It's a shame they can't dig up "boy molesting drug abusing" Eugene Crum and prosecute him. Tennis Maynard did the citizens of Mingo County a service. If I were on his jury I'd find him not guilty.

    • Sharon N

      How dare you people of Mingo County deface a dead man. Eugene was a wondrrful person who is getting blamed for the corruption. He can't defend himself. Shame on sinful MIKE THORNSBURY for passing the buck, so to speak. Blaming the dead after shedding the big crocodile tears at the funeral. I told my brother at the funeral that those tears were unreal.

  • ViennaGuy

    I like the "Boss Hog" analogy. Well played!

  • Aaron

    Growing up in Lincoln County, this is in no way surprising as curreption is synomous with southern WV with each county represented by their own Democratic faction that mirrors Mingo County.

    It is good to see a ringleader go down. That was not the case a few years ago when a couple of low level politicians were convicted of minimal crimes in Lincoln County or in Logan County when despite claims of no knowledge of corruption, Ligan County ring leaders remained in Charleston.

    I just wonder where Eugene Crum fit is as a part of Team Mingo and how his murder was tied into the rampant corruption?