EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSAttorney For Alleged Victim Of Mingo County Political Corruption Scandal Speaks Out
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Katelyn Sykes
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Aug. 16, 2013 11:31 AM EDT
Updated: Aug. 16, 2013 12:32 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The attorney for the man who authorities said was targeted by Mingo Circuit County Judge Michael Thornsbury is speaking out.
Attorney Michael Callaghan said his client's world has been turned upside down. Callaghan represents Robert Woodruff and Kim Woodruff. Federal investigators said Robert Woodruff was targeted by Thornsbury over an affair Thornsbury was having with his secretary, Kim Woodruff. They both have been cooperating with this federal investigation for the past several months but it wasn't until the indictment came out where they learned about everything that was going on in the case.
"Suffice it to say, my clients were shocked," Callaghan said. "They were saddened and their whole life has been turned upside down by these revelations."
This week's indictment of Thornsbury has sent shockwaves through the community, but no one is more shocked than Callaghan.
"I had no idea," he said.
During a news conference Thursday revealing more details about the investigation, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said when the judge's secretary ended the relationship citing her marriage "Judge Thornsbury set off on a campaign to persecute his secretary's husband. His romantic rival."
Federal officials said that is when the corruption began. They claim Thornsbury was setting off to destroy Robert Woodruff.
Callaghan said the travesty of justice in this case is that his client, Robert Woodruff, was arrested twice.
"He suffered all of the penalties of being under suspicion of being charged," Callaghan said. "He did spend time in jail. He was basically ridiculed by the community for something that he did not do."
Callaghan said he knew all along something wasn't right about the charges filed against Robert Woodruff, but he could never figure out what. He was successful at getting everything dropped, but it wasn't until the indictment came out that shed some light onto why those charges were filed in the first place.
"Certainly, to see it in black and white and see the seriousness of the allegtions: planting drugs on someone, putting your buddy as foreperson for the grand jury, bringing in State Police troopers and tell them to charge someone who's innocent," Callaghan said. "Those are shocking to the conscience."
Goodwin said the judge's alleged actions "corrupted the system of justice in Mingo County for his own purposes."
Callaghan said Kim and Robert Woodruff planned to file a civil lawsuit Friday against Thornsbury and multiple others, but haven't said who else would be named in the action.
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