WILLIAMSON, W.Va. -- Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks is fighting to keep his law license.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which handles complaints against attorneys, asked the West Virginia Supreme Court Thursday to suspend Sparks' license after he was implicated in a corruption case against Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury.
In a response filed Friday, Sparks denied any wrongdoing and asked that the petition be dismissed. He has not been charged with a crime, although federal prosecutors did not rule out that possibility.
Federal prosecutors charged Thornsbury with conspiracy last month, claiming the judge had an affair with his secretary and tried to frame her husband repeatedly between 2008 and 2012 after she broke things off.
On Thursday, Thornsbury was charged with conspiracy in a second, separate case. In the latest case, prosecutors say Thornsbury, Sparks and other local officials cooked up a scheme to stop a confidential informant from telling the FBI about the drug use of now-deceased Sheriff Eugene Crum. Crum was killed in an April shooting that prosecutors say was unrelated.
Thornsbury's attorneys have indicated he will plead guilty to the latest charges.
The agency accused Sparks of misconduct, arguing that he had a duty to report alleged illegal activity by the judge.
Sparks claims that while he suspected possible wrongdoing, he didn't have enough proof to file a complaint with the West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission. Thornsbury, who was has been the county's only judge since 1997 and was head of a Democratic Party faction that Sparks associated with, would have been able to review any complaint.