Mark Plants statement
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County prosecutor Mark Plants said he’s cooperating with State Police who are investigating a child abuse allegation made by his ex-wife.
In a brief news conference Thursday in which he took no questions, Plants said during his marriage to Allison Plants they had both agreed that on occasion spanking was an appropriate form of discipline for their children.
“This was not an issue until I recently got remarried and she recently hired Mike Clifford, and this is a page right out of Mike Clifford’s playbook,” Plants said.
Clifford is a defense attorney who used to be the prosecutor of Kanawha County.
Plants choked back tears as he spoke about his two sons.
“As a father I am absolutely disgusted that my children are being involved in political mudslinging and politically motivated allegations,” Plants said. “I am the elected prosecutor but my No. 1, most important job is to be a father and to raise respectable, law-abiding children.”
Earlier in the day, state police confirmed the agency is investigating a complaint from Allison Plants, who alleged her ex-husband had abused one of his children by disciplining him “in an excessive manner.”
Sgt. M.S. Adams with the West Virginia state police Crimes Against Children Unit in Wheeling was handling the investigation.
“I’ve cooperated with investigators, I’ve spoke with the lead investigator. I’ve done everything law enforcement has asked me to do,” Plants said.
Allison Plants was granted an emergency Domestic Violence Protective Order Thursday afternoon.
Plants has been the Kanawha County’s prosecutor since January 2009. He and Allison Plants divorced in 2012.
Last December he married Sarah Foster, who formerly worked as a secretary for Plants until July 2013. During her four years with the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, records showed she received $15,000 in raises that sparked questions of favoritism. Plants has said the raises were in line with what other secretaries were paid.