On Tuesday, embattled Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to extortion charges.
Since his arrest, Baisden has not attended a county commission meeting. However, he has continued to draw his salary. According to the County Commissioner’s Association of West Virginia that salary is $36,000 annually.
Baisden has said that he will continue to hold his position on the commission until his sentencing, which will take place January 14, 2014.
Is it right for Baisden, who has not attended the last four meetings and is not spending any office time in the Mingo County Courthouse, to continue to make this salary?
While he’s not under any legal obligation to resign until his sentencing, we don’t think it’s the right thing for him to continue to hold this position.
Frankly, we’re shocked that fellow commissioners Greg “Hootie” Smith and John Mark Hubbard have not already requested Baisden’s resignation.
With only three commissioners serving the county, it takes two to make a quorum. If something happens that Smith or Hubbard cannot attend a meeting, that assembly would have to be postponed.
In the best interests of the citizens of Mingo County, Baisden should immediately hand in his resignation.
His plea agreement calls for him to resign. He has also agreed not to seek public office in the future.
So, for all intense and purposes, Baisden is drawing a nice salary for nothing.
With all of the important decisions that need to be made regarding our county government, a replacement should be selected sooner rather than later.
Baisden should not continue to serve in his capacity as a county commissioner for the next three months and the first two weeks of next year waiting on his final sentencing. He’s essentially drawing a salary for doing nothing.
Do the right thing Mr. Baisden. Resign immediately so Mingo County can begin to move forward from the recent corruption that has plagued our county.