I know, it sounds absurd, but that’s the way the show has been run in Mingo County; a cabal of miscreants making it up as they go along, abusing their positions, running roughshod over the law, threatening and intimidating people.As one person familiar with the investigation told me, “The norms among the political class are distorted” in Mingo County.
Rather than pay the bill, Crum set up White by getting an informant to buy three oxycodone pills from him.
Crum and Carl David Rockel, who was then the police chief of Williamson and a close associate of Crum’s, brought drug charges against White.
The feds say Crum, Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks, Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden and others hatched a scheme; White would hire a different attorney who would cooperate with the federal investigation and, in return, Judge Thornsbury would give White a light sentence on the drug charge.
Crum then ordered one of his deputies to get a statement from White saying he never sold drugs to Crum.
The settlement agreement reads, “Defendants John Doe No. 2, by and through their liability insurance carrier, shall pay to the plaintiffs and their attorney the sum of $100,00 within 20 days of the agreement.” It also states, “The remaining defendants shall be dismissed by separate order of the Court without monetary contributions to the settlement reached herein.” Steven’s said that Mingo County officials had him arrested and gave him the choice of going to jail or signing an agreement saying he would move his investigation business out of Mingo County.
Allegedly, Thornsbury believed Stevens was investigating him.
After Crum’s death, Rockel’s position was terminated by current Sheriff James Smith. Attorney’s Office had suspended Mingo County Judge Michael Thornsbury sufficiently nailed on charges that he abused his position multiple times to entrap the husband of his ex-mistress, that Thornsbury decided to cooperate and pleaded guilty to less dubious charges.
As federal investigators delve farther down the rabbit hole in Mingo County, the discoveries only get curiouser and curiouser. Now Thornsbury is admitting to participating in a scheme designed to hold together the interconnected web of political corruption that is Mingo County.
Stevens claims Mingo County elected officials trumped up charges against him when they thought he was investigating former circuit judge Michael Thornsbury, who is now serving time in a federal prison in Florida.
In the settlement, the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management will pay the private investigator and his attorneys the money, according to the agreement that was reached.
The pending guilty pleas by Thornsbury and Baisden do not end the investigation. FILE -In this July 2004 file photo, Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury stands in a stairwell of the Mingo County Courthouse, in Williamson, W. Federal prosecutors on Thursday, Aug 15, 2013, charged Judge Thornsbury with abusing his power and commandeering a southern West Virginia grand jury in a failed attempt to frame a romantic rival for crimes he didn’t commit.