CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A judge on Friday refused to dismiss two police officers from a lawsuit filed by the former secretary of former Mingo County Judge Michael Thornsbury.
The lawsuit filed by Kim Woodruff against West Virginia State Police Trooper Brandon Moore and Gilbert Police Officer Nathan Glanden moved forward Friday after Kanawha Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman denied motions asking that the men be dismissed from the complaint.
Federal prosecutors have filed charges against Thornsbury, alleging that the judge plotted to land Woodruff's husband, Robert, in jail. Prosecutors say Moore and Glanden helped Thornsbury, although they were not charged.
In her lawsuit, Woodruff alleges that the former judge sexually harassed her, wrongly fired her and intentionally inflicted emotional distress.
Thornsbury says the lawsuit should be thrown out because a process server delivered the lawsuit to a house where Thornsbury had moved out two days earlier and gave the lawsuit to Thornsbury's wife, who is divorcing him. Kaufman didn't rule on that Friday.
The ex-judge says that on Oct. 5, process server Benjamin Cisco tried to serve him with the lawsuit at his former residence in Williamson. Thornsbury was not there, so the summons and complaint were left with his wife, Dreama Thornsbury.
"He lives in Williamson, they know where he lives, they had until Jan. 28," said William Slicer, Thornsbury's attorney. "He goes out and about, eats at restaurants, shops at Walmart. I don't know what their problem is -- we're trying to follow the rules."
Richard Neely, Kim Woodruff's attorney, said, "If he didn't have notice, Mr. Slicer wouldn't be here."
The judge told Neely that Thornsbury was "walking all around Charleston," but Neely said Thornsbury was purposely trying to avoid being served with the lawsuit.
"He snuck out the back of the federal building" after his plea hearing last month, Neely said. In that hearing, Thornsbury pleaded guilty to a different charge -- conspiring to deprive a drug dealer of his constitutional rights. If a federal judge accepts the plea deal, prosecutors will drop the earlier charge against Thornsbury involving Kim Woodruff and her husband.
Thornsbury was indicted in August on a charge of violating Robert Woodruff's rights by trying to put him in jail on trumped-up charges. Prosecutors allege Thornsbury wanted Robert Woodruff out of the picture so that Kim Woodruff would be forced to be with the judge for financial reasons.
Robert Woodruff has sued many of the same people and agencies as his wife, but in federal court.