CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Under state law, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin had 30 days, starting Dec. 17, to appoint a new circuit court judge in Mingo County.
On Thursday, the governor still hadn't announced a replacement to fill the vacancy created when Michael Thornsbury resigned before pleading guilty to a federal charge. As of Friday, that will mark 73 days.
"The Governor shall make the appointment to fill the vacancy, as required by this article, within thirty days following the receipt of the list of qualified candidates or within thirty days following the vacancy, whichever occurs later," state law says.
The state Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission recommended two Mingo County public defenders to the governor on Dec. 17 to fill the position until the primary election in May.
Amy Shuler Goodwin, Tomblin's communications director, didn't return a phone call Thursday afternoon.
John Cummings, a senior status judge from Cabell County, and Thomas McHugh, a retired state Supreme Court justice, have been filling in since August, when a federal grand jury indicted Thornsbury.
Thornsbury resigned from the position before pleading guilty in October to a felony charge. Thornsbury had served as the sole circuit judge in the 30th Judicial Circuit since 1997 and was re-elected to an eight-year term in 2008.
Teresa McCune and Jonathan "Duke" Wayne Jewell were the names given to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to consider. Both McCune and Jewell are public defenders in Mingo County.