Gilbert town officials do not want to talk

Ron Gregory Gregory’s Web

September 18, 2013

In a startling development, Gilbert town officials really do not want to talk about their assistant police chief who allegedly participated in Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury’s attempts to have a man arrested.

The indictment of Thornsbury last month was detailed in an extensive narrative provided by the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of West Virginia.

According to the indictment, Thornsbury and his secretary had a love affair that went bad when she decided to remain with her husband. Both the judge and the secretary were married at the time.

The dejected judge decided to use his gavel to engineer the arrest and detention of the woman’s husband, apparently hoping that would cause the secretary to return to his (the judge’s) arms. The logic of even that scenario defies imagination but that’s what the government says happened.

One of those who allegedly tried to help the judge put the woman’s husband behind bars was none other than Nathan Glanden, the Gilbert assistant chief. Glanden supposedly conspired with Hiz Honor to make it appear as though the husband started a fight when it was, in fact, begun by two others. Glanden allegedly knew who really started the fight but pursued the husband anyway.

(Readers may note that I continue to refrain from using the secretary or her husband’s names, although their attorney has repeatedly done so in the media. I refrain because I am still not certain the secretary is not an innocent victim here. If proven not to be the case, I will name the names).

Neither the Gilbert mayor nor the chief of police will talk to the media about the assistant chief. Nor, for that matter, will city council members and other city officials. While the officials stick their collective heads in the sand, they apparently hope any thoughts of impropriety will somehow melt away.

It should also be noted that Glanden has not been indicted or formally accused of any crime by the government. Yet.

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Even though mum’s the word around Gilbert Town Hall, the rumors persist that among those being looked at by the Feds are some Gilbert citizens much more well-known statewide than the assistant police chief. Only time will tell, I suppose.

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We should also remember that Mingo Prosecutor Michael Sparks is prominently named in the indictment of the judge. He remains adamant that he will remain in office.

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So, what have your Republican state senators been up to behind closed doors this week? Basically, major items that will net the usual result: nothing.

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When a well-known, family-value former Republican state senator engaged in … shall we say, hanky-panky at the statehouse, many Republicans were officially dismayed at his conduct. Official dismay seldom leads to any result, either.

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Speaking of family values, Second Amendment advocates and Tea Partiers continue to insist packing heat is one of the attributes of a level-headed American.

Yet daily, we read of children killing other children with guns that are “not loaded,” and adults doing the same. Statistics show how many more gun deaths occur in the United States than any place else on the planet because of our lax gun laws. Yet, the murders continue.

When self-anointed ministers take to the pulpits with guns in their lapel, we are living in a situation that is simply intolerable for those who really hold to family values.

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As we have discussed here, Democrat Secretary of State Natalie Tennant was expected to announce this week that she will be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2014.

Tennant would be the odds-on favorite for the Democrat nomination to take on Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito. Both will be vying for the seat being left vacant by the retirement of Democrat Jay Rockefeller.

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Speaking of Rockefeller, does it occur to anyone that our senior senator has never really been a “friend of coal”? Early in his political career, the carpetbagging Rockefeller made it clear how he felt about the state’s most valuable resource. Over the years, he mellowed the rhetoric some but his overall stance has never changed.

In a state so dependent upon coal for economic survival, it is difficult to understand how voters have religiously re-elected Rockefeller. Part of the explanation is that he has had very weak opponents over the years but still, it is an insult to coal for Rockefeller to represent the Mountain State.

Now that the senator is up in years and is as gracefully as possible stepping from the public stage, it is politically correct to praise him as a saint. But the truth is the truth and I doubt that there are many readers out there who don’t agree with me on this one.

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Rumors are rampant that the Federal investigation in Lincoln County is about to come to a head with some additional indictments.

It appears Federal officials are focusing on financial records kept in the County Commission office. In fact, a whole load of them were taken from Hamlin to Charleston recently.

There seems to be enough dirt in Lincoln to keep investigators going for years. At least one of the participants in the 2010 absentee ballot fiasco is out of jail, however. Former Sheriff Jerry Bowman has done his time, according to reports. Next should be the release of former County Clerk Donald Whitten. That leaves ex-County Commissioner Thomas Ramey, Jr. as the lone prisoner. Because he did not cooperate with Federal authorities, it is reported Ramey will have to spend “every minute” of his sentence in prison. That would end next year.

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Speaking of cooperation or lack thereof, rumors also persist in Lincoln that former County Administrator Judy Johnson IS cooperating with the Feds in their investigation. It might be interested to see where and to whom Johnson can lead this trail to.

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Charleston attorney Nick Casey is hitting the campaign trail hard in his bid to become the next Congressman from the Second District, the seat that Capito is giving up to run for Senator.

Casey has a fundraiser coming up and is said to be working the counties daily, drumming up votes for his Democrat candidacy.

Meanwhile, Ron Walters, Jr., the clear front-runner on the GOP side, is planning a fundraising event and putting his campaign team together in anticipation of a tight race with Casey.

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Meanwhile, Kanawha Delegate Suzette Raines is trying to decide whether to hold a news conference to announce she IS running for County Surveyor or one to confirm that she is NOT. The decision is expected in three or four weeks.

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In Mingo, then, we still await a grand appearance by County Commissioner David Baisden. Baisden, indicted by the Feds as well, continues to proclaim his innocence but does not attend County Commission meetings for some reason.

Several Mingo citizens have contacted me wondering why Baisden is still being driven in a county car if he is not doing his job. Some mistakenly think Baisden has been removed as County Commissioner pending his trial. That is simply not the case.

There is no mechanism, as I mentioned earlier, for the other County Commissioners to summarily remove Baisden nor is there such a thing as a “temporary resignation.” It’s all or nothing, in other words.

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If the field gets crowded enough in the Democrat primary for 22nd Delegate District candidates, the two incumbents will easily be re-nominated.

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At the UMWA picnic at Racine, Republican Delegate Joshua Nelson disputed claims he plans to change his registration to Democrat. Such stories were being circulated at the capitol and at the picnic but Nelson says there is no truth to them.

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As always, your story ideas, rumors and comments are welcome. Use the email address listed or call my cell, 304-533-5185.