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Mingo Commissioner Baisden resigns

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Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden, who pleaded guilty last week in federal court to an extortion charge, has resigned, according to fellow commissioner Greg "Hootie" Smith.

Baisden, 66, is accused of trying to buy tires for his personal vehicle at a government discount, then terminating the county's contract with Appalachian Tire when the business refused to cooperate with his request.

In a statement from the Mingo County Commission, Baisden said, "It was never my intention to do anything to put Mingo County in a negative light.  I love this county and I love the people.  I continue to want to do what is best for them."

Baisden agreed to resign from his commission seat as part of his plea deal, but he technically was not required to resign until January.  Baisden had served as county commissioner since Jan. 1, 2007.

Smith said the commission will hold a special meeting Oct. 9 at 9 a.m. to formally accept Baisden's resignation. Commissioners will also schedule an application and interview period for new candidates.

Former Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury also pleaded guilty last week to a separate case in federal court. Prosecutors allege Thornsbury conspired with other officials to imprison a man who said he sold drugs to the late Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Crum was shot and killed in April.

Thornsbury resigned the same morning he pleaded guilty to his federal charge.

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