The Mingo County Commission received a letter from Commissioner David Baisden, in which he relinquished his duties as purchasing agent.
Baisden, who is facing federal charges of extortion, was in Charleston for his arraignment. Baisden told U.S. Magistrate Judge Dwane Tinsley he is not guilty. His trial is set to begin at 9:30 a.m., Oct. 21, in front of U. S. District Judge John Copenhaver.
Baisden plans to retain his seat on the commission. Since Baisden is not a judicial officer, the decision on whether or not to resign as commissioner at this point is his.
Commission President J. Mark Hubbard and Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith voted to accept Baisden’s resignation as purchasing agent and went on to set new procedures in place for purchasing.
Tina Abbott, Administrative Assistant for the commission, will serve as purchasing agent. If a purchase is over $500, both Abbott and one of the commissioners will have to sign the purchase order.
Smith expressed his support for the new procedures, “I support Commissioner Baisden’s decision to resign, I believe with the accusations that have been made it is in the best interest of Mingo County. By appointing Ms. Abbott and putting in specific safeguards in place, we have improved the way the county commission purchases items.”