CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Mingo County sheriff's deputy received $50,000 from the state because he was wrongfully targeted and fired by slain Sheriff Eugene Crum.
The company that insures the Mingo County Commission paid Sgt. Arthur Farra $50,000. The payment was processed through the state Board of Risk & Insurance Management, said state Department of Administration spokeswoman Diane Holley-Brown.
Crum fired Sgt. Arthur Farra in February, citing "insubordination." In September then-Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks said Farra would be reinstated after he'd heard "new information" that led him to believe Farra was fired for a different reason.
Crum punished and fired Farra after the deputy and others investigated allegations of Crum peddling drugs, according to Sparks, new Sheriff James Smith and information provided at a March appeals hearing.
"You just put the pieces together, you could see that he was targeted from the start and he didn't have a chance," Smith told the Daily Mail recently.
Smith and Sparks recently confirmed that a private citizen approached an employee of the sheriff's department with a proposition after Crum won the 2012 primary election. If the employee fired Farra and two other deputies that person would keep his or her job, Sparks and Smith said.
Neither identified the private citizen or the employee. In the hearing where he appealed his firing, Farra said Jarrod Fletcher approached Smith with the deal.
Fletcher is accused of helping ex-Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury in his alleged repeated attempts to frame the husband of a former lover.
Thornsbury and Sparks have both resigned their positions and pleaded guilty in connection to a larger conspiracy involving alleged drug dealer George White.
Former Sheriff Lonnie Hannah also said during the hearing Farra was investigating drug activity by a man named George White. During that investigation, Crum's name came up, Hannah said.
Federal prosecutors say Crum owed White $3,000 for campaign materials. Instead of paying White, Crum had him arrested on a drug charge. White told the FBI about alleged drug activity by Crum, at which point Crum and other officials conspired to have White switch attorneys in exchange for a lighter penalty on the drug charge.