"I fully expected Judge Thornsbury to engage in dishonest measures and to make false allegations against me, to exact vengeance against me in retaliation for my cooperation with his federal investigation," Sparks told the Daily News.
The ODC confirmed last month they were investigating Sparks after Thornsbury's initial indictment, on charges he conspired to violate the constitutional rights of his former secretary's husband. That indictment states that Sparks knew at least some of what Thornsbury was allegedly plotting.
Sparks told the Gazette at that time that he didn't report Thornsbury's alleged misconduct because he was working in an "intimidating environment."
The ODC's petition Thursday states that Sparks' license to practice law should be suspended until disciplinary proceedings are completed.
Attorneys are required to report judicial misconduct, according to the state Bar's rules of professional conduct for lawyers; prosecutors are held to an even higher standard of conduct.
"Ethical violations by a lawyer holding a public office are viewed as more egregious because of the betrayal of the public trust attached to the office," the petition states.
State law says that the Supreme Court must notify a lawyer of the disciplinary charges against him within 30 days. The lawyer can then request a hearing on the charges. After a hearing, the Supreme Court may suspend the lawyer or take other action. The Supreme Court may also appoint a trustee to represent the interests of a lawyer's clients during the process.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.