New Mingo judge starts work in the dark ... literally

By Chris Dickerson | Jun 11, 2014

WILLIAMSON -- Miki Thompson was sworn in Wednesday as the new Circuit Judge in Mingo County despite the fact there was no power in the courthouse.

“We stood beside a window in a jury room,” she said. Senior Status Judge John Cummings delivered the oath. He also will deliver the oath of office at her public ceremonial swearing-in July 10 in the main courtroom of the Mingo County Courthouse in Williamson.

That event will be followed by a reception to which the public also is invited.

Cummings has been handling the circuit court docket with Senior Status Justice Thomas McHugh since Aug. 16 when former Judge Michael Thornsbury was indicted. They continued their work after Thornsbury resigned and pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Despite power outages to many parts of Mingo and Logan Counties caused by a storm Tuesday evening, courts in both counties continued to operate Wednesday although in some cases other county offices were closed.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Thompson as Circuit Judge for the Thirtieth Judicial Circuit (Mingo County) after she won the primary election for the seat in May. She had been serving as the Family Court Judge in the Eighth Family Court Circuit (Mingo County) since 2009.

A graduate of the University of Kentucky, she began her career as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Mingo County in 1992. She also was the solo practitioner of Thompson Law Office until 2008. She was awarded the Williamson Daily News “Best of the Best” Attorney award 2005-2008.

Thornsbury was sentenced Monday to 50 months in prison after pleading guilty to federal conspiracy charges. He did face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He was fined $6,000.

Federal officials claim Thornsbury and other Mingo County officials — including former Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks and former Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden — to keep a local businessman from talking to the FBI about prescription pain medication and illegal campaign contributions received by Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum. Crum was shot and killed in a Williamson parking lot last year.


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