By Kyle Lovern
August 21, 2013
WILLIAMSON - Serving as the prosecuting attorney is a hectic and stressful position on any given day, but add the federal indictments of your seated circuit judge and one of the county commissioners into the mix, and suddenly, Michael Sparks finds himself hounded by every media outlet within a 200 mile radius.
When this occurred, he quickly stepped up to the plate and reassured the public that they are his topmost concern, and pledged that he will work diligently alongside of those who are investigating problems within the Mingo County political arena. Sparks wants to once again, explain to the residents of Mingo County the actions he took with the case involving the charges brought against the husband of Circuit Judge (suspended without pay until trial) Michael Thornsbury’s former secretary, with whom he allegedly had an affair.
“I have supported and assisted the federal investigation in Mingo County and continue to do so,” stated Sparks. “I commend the United States Attorney’s Office, FBI and West Virginia State Police for their commitment to the cause of justice.”
‘As a witness in the case, it would be imprudent and improper for me to publicly discuss the case in detail prior to resolution. However, it is important to note that I promptly notified RW’s (victim in the case) counsel of my intent to dismiss the charges after I reviewed the police report, witness statements and video surveillance, which I did not receive until after the plea offer was made to RW by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney (APA) Matthew E. Chandler.”
“I was not fully cognizant of the case circumstances (including the plea offer) until after the case was scheduled for trial. In summary, I promptly intervened to prevent injustice as soon as I discerned that RW was unjustly charged. “
The investigation into several Mingo County officials and other individuals closely related to them is an ongoing one that has no definite end in sight. The FBI and the West Virginia State Police have committed time, energy and finances to bring to justice those who have violated the trust of the residents of Mingo County and are tireless in their efforts.
A Mingo County Commission meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning and is expected to be a heated one, with numerous people saying they will be attending to voice their opinion and feelings. They plan to demand that Emergency Services and Homeland Security Director Jerrod Fletcher either resign from his position due to his alleged criminal connection to the scheme hatched by the judge to put an innocent man behind bars (according to Thornsbury’s 18 page federal indictment) or be fired.
“I can tell you one thing,” said Laura Gilman, a registered nurse who resides at Delbarton. “We will accept nothing less than a resignation or the firing of Jerrod Fletcher. He broke the law – what he tried to do to that man is absolutely horrid. I don’t care if he was afraid of the judge or was intimidated by him, what he did was wrong and he should pay.”
“I’m attending the commission meeting along with a bunch of other folks and I hope and pray the two remaining commissioners do the right thing and remove Jerrod from his position. It’s very clear that he’s not to be trusted and I for one do not want someone having access to my personal information through his job that in my eyes is a criminal.”
An article about the happenings and decisions made during the county commission meeting will be published in Thursday’s edition of the Williamson Daily News.