Williamson lawyer says Thornsbury, ex-wife owe him $100,000 after failed radio station purchase

By Chris Dickerson | Jul 17, 2018

Former Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury has been named in a lawsuit by Williamson attorney Jeffrey Simpkins.  

WILLIAMSON – A Mingo County attorney has filed a lawsuit against former circuit judge Michael Thornsbury and his ex-wife, saying they didn’t repay him money from the purchase of a radio station that fell through.

Jeffrey Simpkins of Simpkins Law in Williamson filed his lawsuit pro se July 17 in Mingo Circuit Court against Thornsbury and Dreama Thornsbury, his ex-wife.

In his complaint, Simpkins says Thornsbury called Simpkins into his judicial chambers on Feb. 21, 2013, when Thornsbury still was the sole circuit judge in Mingo County. Thornsbury told Simpkins he and Dreama had entered into an agreement to purchase WVFM 106.7 FM. Thornsbury offered Simpkins 33.33 shares of stock in the newly formed company that would own and operate the radio broadcasting license. Simpkins accepted the offer and paid $100,000 for the stocks.

But, the Thornsbury’s defaulted and failed to secure the purchase of the radio station. And, Simpkins claims they have refused to reimburse him his $100,000. He alleges a breach of contract.


Jeffrey Simpkins  

Simpkins seeks reimbursement of his $100,000 as well as interest and other relief.

Simpkins declined further comment except to say the complaint speaks for itself.

“I’m yet another victim of Thornsbury’s tyranny,” he said.

Thornsbury pleaded guilty in October 2013 to violating a man’s constitutional rights. He was sentenced in June 2014 to 50 months in federal prison. He was released earlier this year.

Thornsbury conspired with other Mingo County public officials to prevent an informant/criminal defendant from further communicating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding possible criminal activity by the Mingo County sheriff. Thornsbury agreed to impose a lighter sentence on the informant in return for the informant discharging his legal counsel, who had previously facilitated the informant’s communication with the FBI, and retaining legal counsel chosen by Thornsbury.

In February, the state Supreme Court ruled Thornsbury and his ex-wife won’t receive his state pension.

“Based on the clear language of the statute, he was on notice from the beginning of his participation in these retirement systems that, for his pension to vest, his service must be honorable at all times throughout his public employment,” the ruling stated. “His pension never vested because his service was not honorable at all times throughout his public service.”

Simpkins’ case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Miki Thompson.

Mingo Circuit Court case number 18-C-79

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Mingo Circuit Court Simpkins Law Office

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