CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A former Mingo County prosecuting attorney will be sentenced Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Charleston for violating a man’s Constitutional rights.

Michael Sparks, 44, faces up to a year behind bars after earlier pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of depriving a man of his right to counsel.

Sparks was accused of playing a role in a scheme to protect late Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum by offering Crum’s alleged drug dealer, George White, a lighter sentence to change attorneys and stop talking to the FBI about Crum.

White has since filed a lawsuit against Sparks and the others involved in that scheme.

Federal prosecutors are asking that Sparks be sentenced to the maximum allowable time for, what they called, “deplorable” conduct.

Since an information was filed against him last year, Sparks has resigned from office and lost his law license, but has cooperated with investigators.

Sparks’ sentencing hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday in front of U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston.

Sparks will be the latest former elected official in Mingo County to be sentenced on federal charges.

In June, Judge Johnston went beyond the sentencing guidelines and sentenced Michael Thornsbury, a former Mingo County circuit judge, to 50 months in prison for his role in the scheme to protect Crum. He had faced a felony charge. At the time, he called Thornsbury’s conduct “appalling and unacceptable.”

In March, Judge Johnston sentenced Dallas Toler, a former chief magistrate in Mingo County, to 27 months in prison for voter fraud. In January, David Baisden, a former Mingo County commissioner, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for attempted extortion.

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  • thornton

    He does take a nice photo.....but, not sure it was a good lead-in for this article.

  • navin johnson

    until the feds start giving the max and throwing the book at these individuals, there is no deterrent or strong message sent for others to stop their corrupt practices in local communities.

  • Aaron

    They all cooperate once their caught. My question is, once one cooperates as the Judge did, why does the Prosecutor need additional cooperation. Throw the book at him.

  • Treatment

    I wonder if Mr Sparks will or has he already asked for a lenient sentance due to cancer treatment he is going through. Prostate cancer is usually the most common one used. I am not sure but I think one of Mingo Co's finest has already used that one.

  • Fred

    His actual crime was protecting the dead sheriff's drug dealing operation. He needs to spend some time in jail among the folks he put in there for doing the same thing he did.

  • Thomas

    He should get the maximum! And the WV BAR Assoc. Should revoke his license forever. We'll see. I am expecting another slap on the wrist.