CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Admitted felon David Baisden resigned his position on the Mingo County Commission Monday.
The move, an about face for Baisden, ensures he won't continue to collect a paycheck in the weeks leading up to his sentencing on a federal attempted extortion charge.
"I've always had it in my heart to serve the people of this county in a manner they could be proud of," Baisden said in a news release.
"It was never my intention to do anything to put Mingo County in a negative light. I love this county and I love the people. I continue to want to do what is best for them."
Baisden, 66, pleaded guilty last week to a charge brought by the office of U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. He admitted trying to force Mingo County's contracted tire provider to give him the government discount price on tires for his personal vehicle. When the company refused, Baisden made sure the county switched tire providers.
While Baisden's plea deal required him to leave the commission, it did not say he had to do so immediately. With sentencing slated for Jan. 14, Baisden could have kept the position and continued receiving payment.
The news release about Baisden's resignation mentions his guilty plea but also emphasizes successful commission projects. It states he made water projects a top priority, quoting him saying "every little boy and girl" in the county should have clean drinking water.
The county commission didn't ask Baisden to resign before his sentencing, drawing the ire of local residents, according to the Charleston Gazette.
Friday state Auditor Glen Gainer sent a letter to commissioners and Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks imploring them to seek Baisden's resignation, Gainer said Monday.
"I didn't believe it was possible for the commissioners to do their job with Commissioner Baisden on the commission," Gainer said Monday morning, before Baisden announced his resignation.