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5 NEWS UPDATE: Mingo Co. Judge, County Official Face Federal Charges
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on August 15, 2013 @ 2:35PM
Created on August 15, 2013 @ 1:08PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury has been charged with abusing his power and commandeering a grand jury in a failed attempt to frame a romantic rival for crimes.
Thornsbury is charged with conspiracy against a person's rights in a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.
Prosecutors say Thornsbury was having an affair with his secretary when she tried to end it. He tried to frame her husband to eliminate the competition.
The conspiracy included an attempt to plant drugs on the man and to get a trooper to file a false larceny complaint.
Earlier Thursday, County Commissioner Dave Baisden was arrested and charged in an unrelated indictment with misusing his public office. Prosecutors say he tried to extort a Williamson tire dealer, terminating a contract when it refused to cooperate.
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - Mingo County Commissioner Dave Baisden has been arrested and charged with extortion for misusing his office to try to buy tires from a county supplier at a discount.
Charleston attorney James Cagle says Baisden was arrested Thursday and is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
He says Baisden is set to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in Charleston at 3 p.m. He hasn't yet spoken to Baisden.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Charleston declined comment but said it would have an announcement about a Mingo County prosecution later in the day.
Calls to the County Commission office went unanswered, and a secretary in the prosecutor's office said no one was available to comment. Prosecutor Michael Sparks is out this week for a family funeral.

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