CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Mingo County commissioner pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge Tuesday involving a tire dealer.
David Baisden was accused of trying to buy tires for his personal vehicle at a government discount, then terminating the county's contract with Appalachian Tire when it refused to cooperate.
Baisden, 66, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver set Baisden's sentencing for Jan. 14.
Under the plea agreement, Baisden must resign from the commission before he is sentenced.
Baisden declined comment after the hearing. He's the first of two Mingo County officials indicted last month to plead guilty.
On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury is expected to plead guilty to charges that he conspired with Baisden, Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks and Sheriff Eugene Crum to spare Crum from paying a $3,000 debt and to protect Crum's reputation and career by jailing a man who sold him drugs.
In exchange, charges are expected to be dismissed against Thornsbury in a separate federal case in which prosecutors say Thornsbury tried to frame his former mistress' husband for crimes the man didn't commit.
Crum was killed in April in an unrelated shooting. Federal prosecutors say Crum owed campaign-sign maker George White money but didn't want to pay.
White is serving one to 15 years under a plea agreement that prosecutors say he was forced to accept after being ordered to fire his own attorney and accept one chosen by the judge.