UPDATE 11/6/13 @ 4:10 p.m.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Since August, four elected leaders have resigned in Mingo County after being charged in federal corruption cases. Wednesday, two of their seats were filled.
Sworn in as Mingo County’s new prosecutor, Teresa Maynard has an empty office to fill and a relationship with the community in need of mending.
“I don't like the circumstances that brought me here, but I think at this point I’m the best person that can do this job,” Maynard said.
Serving as an assistant prosecutor since 2005, Maynard worked side-by-side with former prosecutor Michael Sparks. He resigned after being charged in connection with a scheme to protect the late sheriff, Eugene Crum, who was under investigation in a drug case.
Some fear Maynard was too close to the investigation. “Prosecutor's office came after me like a snake chasing a rat in the grass,” Donald Stevens, a private investigator said at Wednesday morning’s commission meeting.
Stevens says he's a victim in one of the ongoing corruption cases that deals with his arrest in 2012 -- where he was accused of wiretapping. He says for the time being, he'd like to see someone brought in from the outside.
“As long as there's a shadow over the prosecutor's office, they really do need to put somebody who's impartial in there,” Stevens said.
Maynard disagrees saying there is no conflict of interest. "Based upon the information that I have, there's no investigation into any of my cases,” Maynard said. “I've never been questioned about any of my cases and if there was anything inappropriate in the courtroom I would have reported that to the appropriate individual, and I never saw that.”
Also sworn in Wednesday was a new county commissioner.
Board of education member Mike Carter will replace Dave Baisden, who was arrested in August -- accused of abusing his power as the county's purchasing agent. He has admitted to cutting off business with a tire company when they refused to sell him personal tires at the county’s discounted price.
Both of these seats, the commissioner and the prosecutor, will be on the ballot in May.
During a special commission meeting, commissioners appointed Teresa Maynard as the county's prosecutor. Maynard replaces Michael Sparks who resigned last month after he was indicted in a federal investigation.
Maynard will serve the unexpired term of Sparks. She's worked in the prosecutor's office since 2005.
Commissioners also appointed Mike Carter to replace former commissioner David Baisden. Baisden was also indicted in a separate federal investigation.
Mingo Commissioner Hootie Smith says it is a tough day, replacing Commissioner Basiden.
Commissioners say they interviewed several candidates on Monday for both jobs, but Carter and Maynard have the experience needed to hold office.
Smith says there's a black cloud over Mingo County and it was refreshing to see so many apply for commissioner and prosecutor.
During the meeting, Maynard took the oath of office. Carter was not present at the meeting.
However, not everyone was happy about the new appointments. Private investigator Donald Stevens spoke up at the meeting and told commissioners he was upset that the new prosecutor appointed was internal.
"They [prosecutor's office] ran me out of town like a snake in the grass," Stevens said.
Stevens says he was accused of wiretapping, but charges were dismissed.
Maynard says she is not too close to the investigation. She says she is the best person for the job.
Maynard added she had a lot if sleepless nights deciding whether to apply for prosecutor.
We have a crew at the meeting.
Click the link below to read more on the Mingo County corruption case.
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Both positions became vacant when former Prosecutor Michael Sparks and former County Commissioner David Baisden resigned from their posts after they were charged in separate federal investigations.
According to a spokesperson with the Mingo County Commission, the interviews began at 9 a.m. and will continue through 730 p.m. Monday with only an hour break for lunch. The interviews will take place in executive session.
The permanent replacements will be named during a commission meeting on Wednesday.
Sparks is accused of trying to protect the late Sheriff Eugene Crum who was under investigation in a drug case. He is expected to plead guilty on November.
Baisden resigned after pleaded guilty to an extortion charge.
You can click on the link below to read more about the federal investigations.