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Former W.Va. county commissioner gets 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to extortion

A former county commissioner in West Virginia has been sentenced to more than a year and a half in prison )on a federal extortion charge.

U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. ordered David Baisden to report by April 4 to start his 20-month sentence.

Baisden is the first of four former public officials in Mingo County to be sentenced in a widespread probe of corruption that also snared 2013 convictions against former Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury, former county prosecutor Michael Sparks and ex-magistrate Dallas Toler.

Baisden pleaded guilty in October to trying to buy tires for his personal vehicle at a government discount in 2009, then terminating the county's contract with Appalachian Tire when it refused to cooperate. He had previously agreed to pay $7,700 in restitution.

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