CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Police arrested Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden Thursday morning in Williamson after a federal grand jury issued an indictment tying him to an abuse-of-power case from 2009.
Baisden, 66, is facing federal charges of attempted extortion.
The indictment returned Wednesday and made public Thursday after his arrest accuses the Democrat of demanding that Appalachian Tire sell him tires for his personal vehicle in 2009 at a discounted price that is available only for government vehicles.
During a press conference, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said he would not try to hold Baisden in jail. He was released on $10,000 bond. U.S. Magistrate Dwane Tinsley told him he could communicate only with other commissioners as necessary for county business, but could not discuss the case with them.
After Appalachian Tire refused Baisden's demand for discount tires, he threatened to cut off the store's agreement with the county, according to the indictment.
At the time, Baisden was the purchasing agent for the commission, which gave him authority to choose where the county purchased tires, the indictment states.
An indictment is not a finding of fact; it means only that grand jurors have decided that enough evidence exists to warrant a criminal trial.
Prosecutors say in the indictment that Baisden directed Jerry Colegrove, who worked for the commission, to order a set of tires for Baisden's personal vehicle at the government price.
When Appalachian refused, the indictment states, Colegrove told Appalachian employees that Baisden, "was a powerful official and that Appalachian would risk losing its business with the Commission if it did not sell [him] tires for personal use at the Government Price," the indictment states.