CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- Whether two former Mingo County officials who have pleaded guilty to federal charges will get retirement benefits will be decided after they're sentenced in mid-January.
Jeaneen Legato, attorney for the state Consolidated Public Retirement Board, said she will ask the board whether Michael Thornsbury and David Baisden should be disqualified from receiving public employee pensions.
Legato said both men could be disqualified under a state law concerning pensions and "less than honorable service."
That law states that the retirement board must withhold payment or contributions for any elected official found guilty of a crime.
Both Thornsbury and Baisden pleaded guilty to federal charges last week in what federal prosecutors say is an ongoing investigation into corruption in the county.
Thornsbury, 57, admitted depriving a drug dealer of his constitutional rights in an attempt to protect the county's sheriff from a federal investigation. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston sentences him on Jan. 13.
Baisden, 66, admitted trying to extort a local tire dealer to sell him tires for his personal vehicle at a discounted price only available for government vehicles. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver sentences him on Jan. 14.
The retirement board would meet sometime before the end of January to discuss the matter, according to Legato.
Legato plans to present the federal charges filed against Thornsbury and Baisden to disqualify them from retirement benefits. The five-person board would then make a decision, she said.