Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks again professed his innocence in response to allegations that have led to a petition before the Supreme Court to suspend his law license.
Federal investigators believe Sparks either knew about or participated in wrongdoing with indicted Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury, slain sheriff Eugene Crum and other county officials.
Sparks, through his attorney, Lonnie Simmons, filed a petition Monday with the Supreme Court in response to the petition filed Thursday by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Simmons filed a similar petition Friday with the court, addressing a different portion of the allegations.
The Supreme Court reviewed the office's petition Thursday night. A spokeswoman anticipated it would announce a decision in the case Friday. However, it made no decision after granting Sparks' request to respond to the accusations.
In granting Sparks' request, the court announced it also is giving the Office of Disciplinary Counsel a chance to respond.
The office must file its response by 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The court won't make a decision regarding Sparks' license until after that deadline, according to a Monday release.
In a federal indictment and federal information -- similar to an indictment -- filed against Thornsbury, Sparks is accused of either knowing about improper activity or participating in it.
In the information, filed last week, Sparks is accused of working with Thornsbury, Crum, indicted Mingo County Commissioner Dave Baisden and others in a scheme to stall an FBI investigation into Crum's drug activity.
After George White -- who was arrested on charges of selling prescription pills to a Crum informant -- told the FBI he regularly gave Crum pills, federal investigators say Crum, Thornsbury and others worked out a plan to stop White from assisting an FBI inquiry.
Sparks allegedly worked with the men to make sure White received a favorable settlement once he switched attorneys. The new attorney was allegedly an ally of Thornsbury, Crum and Sparks, according to the information.
In his filing Monday, Sparks denies involvement in any illegal arrangement.
"Mr. Sparks denies ever devising a scheme with Crum, Baisden, and/or other to prevent (White) from further communicating incriminating information regarding Crum with the FBI and others," Sparks' petition states.
The petition repeatedly states Sparks "is without actual knowledge to admit or deny" any conspiracy involving Crum, Thornsbury, Baisden or anyone else pertaining to White's case and the FBI.
Sparks had no reason for White's first attorney, Charles "Butch" West, to be removed from the case, the petition states. Instead, he said he heard West was trying to set up an interview for White with the media and that led to his dismissal.