CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A federal judge has scheduled a guilty plea hearing for Tuesday for Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden on a federal extortion charge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby filed a motion last week asking U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver to schedule a guilty-plea hearing in the case. Copenhaver scheduled the hearing for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Baisden, 66, is accused of demanding that Appalachian Tire sell him tires for his personal vehicle at a discounted price that is available only for government vehicles. When the company refused, Baisden -- who was also the county's purchasing agent -- steered the county's contract to a different company.
Baisden cost Appalachian Tire "tens of thousands of dollars since 2009," U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin previously said.
Baisden's trial had been scheduled for Oct. 21. He remains free on $10,000 bail.
Mingo County Commissioner Greg "Hootie" Smith has said Baisden will resign from the commission as part of his plea deal.
Baisden faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. His attorney, Jim Cagle, has not returned phone calls seeking comment.
Last week, Baisden was also mentioned when federal prosecutors charged Mingo Circuit Judge Thornsbury for the second time.
Prosecutors say Baisden and others helped Thornsbury interrupt a federal investigation into slain Mingo sheriff Eugene Crum, and helped cover up allegations that Crum illegally received prescription painkillers from a convicted drug dealer.
Thornsbury is scheduled to plead guilty to that charge the day after Baisden pleads guilty to his.
When he pleads to that charge, prosecutors will drop an indictment filed last month that charged Thornsbury with conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of his ex-lover's husband by trying to have him jailed on trumped-up charges.
Goodwin hasn't said if Baisden and others who allegedly took part in the conspiracy would face charges from it.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.