|► Prosecutor C. Michael Sparks; Mingo County, WV; ethical misfit|
Prosecutor C. Michael Sparks; Mingo County, WV; ethical misfit
The state of West Virginia presented C. Michael Sparks with a law license in 1996 after he graduated from the University of Akron Law School.
The West Virginia Office of Disciplinary Counsel recently charged Sparks with the following misconduct.
Sparks is under investigation for failing to report the egregious misconduct of Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury. That misconduct can be found at the URL listed at the end of this article.
The Rules of Professional Conduct mandated that Sparks report any judicial misconduct to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Sparks admits that he was aware that Judge Thornsbury was involved in an extramarital affair with the judge’s secretary, misconduct that he was duty bound to report, but didn’t.
In a lame attempt at levity, Sparks defended his failure to report Judge Thornsbury’s misconduct by claiming that the judge was a very vindictive person and that he had allegedly been the recipient of his vindictiveness in the past. If this were true, then we are faced with another instance wherein Sparks failed to comport his conduct with his oath as an attorney by not reporting the misconduct of Thornsbury.
The persons that are most aware of judicial misconduct are the Prosecutors, fellow judges and attorneys that appear before them on a daily basis.
Hopefully, the West Virginia Supreme Court will send a message to all attorneys in West Virginia that if they fail to reports judicial and/or attorney misconduct to the proper authorities they can expect harsh punishment.
As we speak (ca. September 2013), Sparks remains employed as the Mingo County Prosecutor.