CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In Mingo County, where every check and balance and separation of powers failed to protect the public from a corrupt judge, two public defenders have been recommended to succeed the judge.
In making the nomination, maybe the West Virginia Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission felt that Mingo County could use a dose of public service.
It's a nice thought, that perhaps the values and philosophy that spur someone to serve as a public defender might be considered a virtue when the commission recommended public defenders Teresa McCune and Jonathan "Duke" Wayne Jewell for the Mingo judge's seat.
The appointment of either candidate offers Mingo residents a break from the political reign of former Judge Michael Thornsbury, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to deprive a drug suspect of his legal rights in a plot to thwart a federal investigation.
Mingo has suffered such a nightmare of political sleaze that selfless public defenders offer hope of brighter times.