EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSRosie Crum Resigns As Mingo Sheriff; Action Taken Against Other Officials
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Aug. 21, 2013 9:13 AM EDT
Updated: Aug. 22, 2013 12:07 PM EDT
Williamson, Mingo County , West Virginia
Rosie Crum, the widow of slain Mingo County Eugene Crum, resigned Wednesday as the interim sheriff of Mingo County, and Mingo County Commissioner Dave Baisden is no longer the county's purchasing agent. .
The announcement of Crum leaving her position was made Wednesday during the Mingo County Commission meeting. Meanwhile, it also was revealed at the meeting that Baisden will no longer be the county's purchasing agent. The move follows a corruption scandal that has rocked the county. Baisden was arrested Thursday and charged with extortion for allegedly misusing his office to try to buy tires from a county supplier at a discount. Baisden has not resigned as commissioner. The commission also adopted a new purchasing policy. All purchases will require an agent and one county commissioner. Baisden handled purchases by himself in the past.
In other developments, Jarrod Fletcher, the county's homeland security director, has been suspended from his position. Fletcher was mentioned in an indictment of Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury. Thornsbury was arrested Thursday and accused of abusing his power and commandeering a grand jury in a failed attempt to frame a romantic rival for crimes. According to the indictment, Thornsbury picked Fletcher, his friend and business partner, to head a grand jury in order to frame the judge's romantic rival. Fletcher is not being charged criminally,
Rosie Crum announced her resignation in a letter to county commissioners.
"With only serving as your sheriff in Mingo County nearly four months now, I regrettably tender my resignation with mixed emotions," Crum said in the letter. "Since my appointment in April of this year, assuming the duties and responsibilities of my late husband has proved to be quite an undertaking. The sheriff's office needs a qualified person who can dedicate the time and attention it deserves to ensure public safety and confidence. Eugene's passion, dedication and commitment to public service, though short lived, will undoubtedly be remembered for years to come, leaving some "big shoes" to fill for the sheriff's successor."
Crum recommended that Dave Rockel serve as sheriff. She said Rockel was the man her husband had complete trust in and served as his task force commander and chief field deputy. She said Rockel assisted Eugene Crum with numerous drug investigations and everyday operations of the department. He also restructured the sheriff's office to operate more efficiently dealing with civil process, scheduling of manpower and improving the integrity of evidence collecting, she said. She also said Rockel was able to improve the department's arsenal by obtaining "mini 14" pistol rifles through reserves made possible with the Department of Natural Resource Police.
"In closing, I would like to thank you and those who supported by husband and I through the good as well as the bad times," Crum said. "With this resignation, I will be given the opportunity to reflect on my life and spend much needed time with my children and grandchildren. I leave the sheriff's office with a prayer of peace and prosperity of all of Mingo County. My resignation will be effective Sept. 4, 2013."
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