by Ron Gregory
You’ve got to hand it to Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Maynard. Many people — and public officials, particularly — have their priorities mixed up. Not so with Maynard if her actions the past Monday are any indication.
While the Prosecutor could have spent what was supposed to be a courthouse workday with trivial felonies and other crimes, Maynard went where high crimes and misdemeanors are more likely. She attended a 21st Delegate District Democrat Executive Committee meeting at 1 p.m. in Gilbert.
Less astute and undisciplined Prosecutors might have been back in the Williamson office digging into details of crimes committed by local public officials in paperwork prepared by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Some Prosecutors would even get tangled up in U.S. Attorney strangespeak like “Team Mingo is a corrupt political faction in Mingo County.”
Others, not nearly on the level with Maynard, might actually be convening a grand jury to consider the brutal beating of an 18-year-old young man on a downtown street in broad daylight in Williamson. Maynard is too concerned about “real crime” to be distracted by those minor things.
Maynard’s smiling face appeared on the front of a local paper recently, ballyhooing how tough she is on illegal drugs. Whoever wrote the article may actually have had to be on drugs to write the it. Maynard was boldly quoted as saying she wants to make the county safe for law-abiding citizens. She was working toward that goal Monday.
Minor league Prosecutors may actually be concerned about a young man lying comatose six months after the beating in a Kentucky nursing facility. Not wise-eyed, tough-on-crime, protect-the-community Maynard. Nope, she went where the “action” really is: her party’s executive committee meeting an hour’s drive one-way from her Williamson office. Maynard proved she is as non-partisan as they come. Rather than focus on Republican executive committee shenanigans, she went after her own “team.”
Two hours on the road, an hour for the meeting and Maynard spent “only” three work time hours hobknobbing with her party friends. She sat alone in back of the room. She had a pen and notebook. She was ready if felonies broke out. Thank God, I think her mere presence probably saved the day. There were no fistfights, although such trivial matters as the boy lying comatose, are really not all that significant to a brilliant legal mind like Maynard’s.
A peon such as I will never know what she may have scribbled in her notebook. “Man in blue jacket looks suspicious. Need to run his mug through a background check. Let me get his pic with my cell phone,” she likely wrote. “H.K. White dressed like a banker. Gotta find out why that would be,” on page two.
I would be willing to wager that the eagle-trained mind of Maynard spotted crimes I never dreamed of. Great Prosecutors are like that; they see things others do not.
Thank heaven Maynard has given up all those years of private practice earning four-figure incomes ($49.99 one year, I understand) to take the thankless job as our Prosecutor. Thank the good Lord she was there to record each crime, every felony, each misdemeanor. Never mind that she MAY have not noticed that one member of the committee had once been, shall we say, a “guest” in a federal facility. Someone like I would worry about something as minor as that. Someone on a level with Maynard (if there is anyone) would not.
So, Mingo Countians, worry not if your county is safe and protected. Teresa Maynard, in her Superwoman cape and flipflops, comes to the rescue every day. She knows how to spend the time you are paying her for in the most effective manner. She knows where the crime is. Some lesser Prosecutors go out on drug road patrols with deputies. But a Prosecutor on the level of Maynard drives herself right to the heart of the felonies at a Democrat executive committee meeting.
Since I am unable to even communicate with Maynard on her high level, I don’t know if she will convene a special grand jury or just wait for the regular one to report the crimes she witnessed Monday. But I do know this: she is one unique Prosecutor, constantly on the job protecting our honest citizens (I read that in the paper, too). To finally be completely honest, I can truthfully say I’ve never seen another Prosecutor like her.
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Before anyone gets the silly idea that I actually think any of the public officials or public at Monday’s meeting are really criminals, let me confirm that I specialize in satire.
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What a race it may be. Incumbent Democrat Sheriff Randall White is being challenged by longtime Boone County official Jennings Miller in the 2016 Primary. Miller’s filing Monday ended weeks of speculation that he actually would not run for Sheriff when push came to shove. As usual, Miller showed that he says what he means and means what he says.
White will have a difficult time staying up with Miller, who has served two previous terms as Sheriff. In fact, when … I mean, IF … elected this year he will tie veteran politician Johnny Protan for the highest number of terms elected as Sheriff, three.
Here’s a prediction: White cannot beat Miller.
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My friend, Joshua Nelson, is staying home this year, running for County Commissioner in Boone rather than the House of Delegates, where he presently serves. Nelson is a Republican in a strange land, the Southern West Virginia coalfields.
I still think Republicans can thank Democrat President Barack Obama more than anything any of them did for their electoral majority two years ago. Obama is reviled in these here hills and mention of his name is the death knell for Democrats. But Nelson proved he is a strong candidate, Obama or no Obama. He will definitely be formidable in the race for County Commissioner.
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Now, in case anyone wondered, I am off the GOP reservation on the issue of replacing State Senator Daniel Hall. For one thing, I called Hall’s switch from Democrat to Republican a year ago, “voter fraud.” Actually, it was more “candidate fraud.”
Hall was originally a Republican but he concluded that he could not be elected to the Legislature from the GOP after losing for House of Delegates. So, he switched to Democrat. He then ran for the House as a D and won. He won a second term. Next, he moved up to the State Senate, elected as a DEMOCRAT.
Ever the opportunist, Hall switched back to Republican after the 2014 election would have resulted in a 17-17 State Senate split along party lines. By making the change, he enabled Republicans to reorganize the Senate under the watchful eye of Senator Bill Cole, who was elected President of the body. Cole appointed Republican chairs of all committees and named the newly-changed Hall to leadership and chairmanship positions. Yes, it appears, Hall had more “changes” than the dirty diaper of a three-month-old. And he benefited just as the baby does. Well … oh, let’s not go into that.
Next, in this thrilling tale of today rather than yesteryear, Hall was offered a job by one of his favorite political benefactors, the National Rifle Association, also known as the “Let’s see how many kids we can get to accidentally shoot other kids society.” In so doing, he announced his resignation from the Senate.
Showing how astute they are in the game of politics, apparently nobody on the GOP side considered that Democrats might claim Hall’s replacement should be a Democrat. Typically, the Governor is required to appoint someone of the same party as the departing official. With Hall, who could keep up with which party he was pinning the tail on that day?
So, there’s been a political brawl about whether his replacement will be a Democrat or Republican. Tomblin wants to appoint a D and he is absolutely right.
Let’s be clear about something: the voters of the Ninth Senatorial District have NOT elected a Republican Senator in recent memory. They did not do so in 2012. They selected Daniel Hall, a DEMOCRAT who beat incumbent DEMOCRAT Richard Browning in the Primary. Those are all simple facts.
Now, every court ever assembled has ALWAYS ruled that “intent of the voters” is tantamount in a decision of this nature. Voters of that district INTENDED to elect a Democrat. Voters DID elect a Democrat. It is not their fault he couldn’t make up his mind in five hours whether to take Stage One or Stage Two on “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Get it: voters went to the polls. They elected a Democrat. They deserve to be represented by a Democrat. Pure and simple democracy in action. Political charades should stop. The GOP should stop looking just like the pigs on the other side. They should drop the pledge, “all public officials are equal, some are just more equal than others.” The Republicans said they would get rid of the same, old “politics as usual, good-ole-boy network.” It’s time to show leadership and do just that. Tell the Governor his appointment should be the party the people chose. It should be a Democrat.
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Your comments, story ideas, rumors and sightings of our sleuthing Mingo Prosecutor will be appreciated. Use my email listed or call my cell, 304-533-5185.