Callaghan said he was going to send letters Friday notifying the Supreme Court (on behalf of Thornsbury), the State Police and the city of Gilbert that a lawsuit would be filed over the matter. State law requires a 30-day notice before someone sues a public agency.
Thornsbury allegedly enlisted State Police Trooper Brandon Moore to file a criminal complaint against Robert Woodruff, accusing him of stealing scrap metal from his employer.
The judge and the trooper allegedly knew that the man's employer allowed him to take the scraps. Moore has been placed on paid administrative leave by the State Police until an internal investigation is complete.
Then-magistrate Eugene Crum issued a warrant and Woodruff was arrested and charged with grand larceny in December 2008. Crum dismissed the charge after county prosecutor Michael Sparks disqualified himself from the case -- which, according to the indictment, could have led to discovery of Thornsbury's scheme.
In January 2009, Thornsbury chose his business partner, Jarrod Fletcher, Mingo County's director of homeland security and emergency management, to be the foreman of a grand jury. With Fletcher in charge of the grand jury, Thornsbury allegedly was able to sway the jury's authority and use it to victimize Robert Woodruff.
Last year, Woodruff reportedly was involved in an altercation with two men at a convenience store. It was alleged that one of the men swung at Woodruff and the other pulled a gun. The two men were arrested and charged with assault.
However, about a month later, the charges against those two men were dismissed and, instead, Woodruff was charged with assault and battery
The indictments states that Gilbert Police Officer Nathan Glanden obtained the arrest warrant for Woodruff. The charges against him were later dismissed after he refused to plead guilty and take a deal offering him what prosecutors describe as an extreme punishment even if he were guilty.
Callaghan said he hasn't decided whether to file the lawsuit in federal court or in a circuit court.
He represented Robert Woodruff both times he was charged -- in 2008 and last year. Robert Woodruff didn't know about his wife's affair until recently, Callaghan said.
"I knew something was wrong with the charges, but I can't say I knew it was motivated by the judges nefarious thinking," he said. "I didn't, in my wildest imagination, think the judge was behind a false arrest. I had no idea, until very recently, when my clients were witnesses for the government."
Also in Mingo County on Thursday, County Commissioner David Baisden, 66, who has served as commissioner since 2009 and once was the county's assessor, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges unrelated to Thornsbury. Baisden allegedly tried to extort Appalachian Tire because it wouldn't give him a discount, costing the company thousands of dollars.
Thornsbury and Baisden will be arraigned at 10 a.m. Wednesday in front of U.S. Magistrate Dwane Tinsley. Thornsbury's case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston. Baisden's case is before U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.