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West Virginia Supreme Court Revokes Former Prosecutor’s Law License
On Friday, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals revoked the law license of former Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks. Sparks resigned on Thursday, one day before the West Virginia Supreme Court voted 5-0 against him.
According to federal prosecutors, Sparks, the Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney had tried to protect former Mingo County Sheriff from charges of violation of election rules by trying to cover up his abuse of Oxycodone.
Sparks, a judge and others offered a drug dealer a light sentence against him keeping mum about supplying drugs to the County Sheriff.
Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury has already pleaded guilty in the matter for his role and part in the conspiracy.
Sheriff Eugene Crum was killed in April in a shooting unrelated to the present case.
According to court records, a local businessman George White had printed campaign signs for Mingo County politicians in the 2012 elections. Even though Crum won his election he delayed in paying White for the campaign posters and White repeatedly tried to collect his money.
Within one month of becoming Sheriff of Mingo County, Crum arranged to have White arrested because he had procured prescription pills from White for his own use.
White hired a lawyer who had contact with the FBI. He informed the FBI of the drug abuse by Crum and of Crum’s violation of election laws.
When Crum discovered what was happening, he pressured White to change his lawyer in exchange of a favorable plea deal. According to federal prosecutors Crum and other county officials including Sparks and the judge wanted the White stop releasing information to the FBI.
Sparks’ resignation letter observed, “My attempt to prevent potential injury to the reputation and drug enforcement efforts of the late Sheriff Eugene Crum was unjustifiable.”