WILLIAMSON - After years of serving as a private attorney and seeking public office in the past, Charles “Butch” West has decided to run for Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney.
The office has been under scrutiny since the resignation of former prosecutor C. Michael Sparks, who was indicted on federal misdemeanor charges of violating a defendant’s civil rights. Teresa Maynard, who was an assistant under Sparks, was appointed to that office until the successful candidate in the 2014 election takes the seat.
When asked why he decided to seek political office and for a list of his goals should he be elected, West provided the following statement:
“My objective in seeking election to the office of Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney is to restore the integrity this office has always enjoyed, and to make every effort to work with all law enforcement agencies in ridding our community of the drug epidemic which has plagued us.
“It is also my intent to promote justice in law enforcement by being consistently aware of the problems in the recent past, which have seen this great office suffer almost irreparable harm.
“In addition to the war on drugs, other serious crimes must be sternly dealt with in cases involving abuse and neglect of children, the sanctity of our homes from would-be thieves and burglars, and to make every effort to sternly enforce the laws involving violence.
“In working to accomplish the foregoing goals and objectives, I believe that the prosecuting attorney should be, in all cases even-handed and with no prejudices or personal axes to grind.
“Moreover, as prosecuting attorney, I would closely scrutinize election activities in the county so as to minimize the chance of any future problems in this area. To accomplish the goal of clean elections, I would work tirelessly with the Office of the West Virginia Secretary of State and with the Office of the Mingo County Clerk in their efforts to bring about effective election reform.
“In summary, I will continue to deal honestly with the citizens of Mingo County as I did when I served as president of the Board of Education and as mayor of the city of Williamson. I will be fair with everyone and will do everything in my power to protect the citizens of Mingo County. I will take my oath of office very seriously.”
So far, no other candidates have filed for the prosecutor’s office, with a Saturday deadline quickly approaching.