Commission announces appointment of temporary prosecutor

Rachel Baldwin rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

October 11, 2013

WILLIAMSON - Mingo County Commissioners Greg “Hootie” Smith and John Mark Hubbard appointed Teresa Maynard to the position as the temporary county prosecutor for a 30 day period, and are in talks with the WV Attorney General’s to assume command of the office.

Smith stated that he had been involved in numerous conversations with the attorney general’s office to see if there was a possibility of them overseeing the prosecutors office, saying he feels that would be the best route to take to move forward for the betterment of the county and to restore the public’s faith and trust. However; there are legal hurdles that must be cleared before those steps may be taken. With that thought in mind, recommendations from that office were made to the commissioners to appoint someone to the seat until such time all legalities are researched and an answer can be given.

In an emergency meeting that was held Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m., the commissioners first formally accepted the resignation of Prosecutor C. Michael Sparks, who had held that position since 2005. Sparks stepped down from office during the midst of a federal investigation and has since been named in a Federal Information Order that identifies him as being accused of deprivation of rights under the color of law, a misdemeanor charge.

Maynard, who was the only full-time employee in the prosecutors office and the only member of the prosecution team that did not have a private practice, seemed to be the logical choice to fill the position vacated by Sparks. Maynard agreed to the nomination and stated that she would do everything she could to regain the trust of the public.

“If you would have told me yesterday at this time that I would be standing here today, I wouldn’t have believed it,” remarked Maynard, as she spoke with members of the media after the meeting concluded. “This is a life changing event for me and I will do my very best and work hard to reestablish faith in the prosecutors office.”

Maynard, who resides at Lenore, is a graduate of WVU and began her employment with the prosecutors office in 2005 and was then hired on a full time basis in 2008. She has primarily concentrated on cases involving the welfare of children and has overseen and prosecuted numerous cases of child neglect and abuse. She plans to continue these duties after taking on the role as head prosecutor.

“I love the courtroom, that it what I was born to do,” said Maynard. “I can’t say what my future plans are regarding whether I will seek this position on a permanent basis until after I see how it all works out for me. If I have to remain behind a desk and not try cases in the courtroom or actively participate in criminal prosecution, then I’m not sure this is meant for me. I will just have make that decision in the future.”

Maynard commented that she feels she in known in the public eye as a fair and just person and more important than even those commendable traits is that she is honest, forthcoming and trustworthy. She stated that she wants to get the prosecutors office back to the day when it was not under the dark cloud of confusion and doubt.

Maynard faces a busy schedule during the next 30 days, as she relayed that 10 felony trials are scheduled and she has also has 70 child abuse and neglect cases on her plate. The new prosecutor stated that with everyone in her office pitching in and working hard, she’s confident there will be no problems with the busy calendar of events.

Maynard will assume her position at the helm of the prosecutor’s office on Friday morning and asked the media to relay to the public that she is always accessible to them, should they need to contact or speak with her. The number for her office is 304-235-0350 and is located on the 2nd floor of the county courthouse.