Hearing dates have been set for two former Mingo County officials expected to plead guilty in two separate cases of corruption.
Former county Prosecutor Michael Sparks is set to plead guilty to deprivation of civil rights at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in U.S. District Court in Charleston. Dallas "Big Dal" Toler, a former county magistrate, is expected to plead guilty to falsification or concealment of facts at 10 a.m. Dec. 2 in the Charleston courthouse.
Both will appear before U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston, who set the guilty plea hearing dates Tuesday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby filed a motion Oct. 21 to schedule hearing dates for the two.
Toler is accused of illegally registering a convicted felon to vote in the 2012 election. Toler knew the man was on probation for a felony conviction when he registered him to vote in April 2012, according to an information filed Oct. 9.
He resigned his position Oct. 9 and was temporarily replaced by Kim Blair, a senior status magistrate from Putnam County. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin appointed Blair to the position.
Sparks, the former prosecutor, is accused of conspiring with others to impede an FBI investigation into former Sheriff Eugene Crum. Sparks resigned days after a separate Oct. 9 information was filed against him.
Teresa Maynard was appointed to replace him.
Sparks allegedly conspired with Crum, former Mingo Commissioner David Baisden and former Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury to coerce George White, who at the time was facing a drug charge, to fire his attorney and hire one they approved.
White, who ran a sign business in Delbarton, apparently gave Crum drugs during the late sheriff's term as a magistrate. He also sold the sheriff campaign signs and bumper stickers for his 2012 run for sheriff.