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.

Jeff Jenkins/MetroNews

Kanawha County’s elected prosecutor choked back tears Thursday afternoon as he talked about his children and the allegation made by his ex-wife.

“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.

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  • mark

    My son has grown up to be a very respectable man, and i am proud of that.He may have had half a dozen or less spankings in his entire life. however he knew I would do it in a heartbeat if he didnt follow the rules.I told him one time that he would ALWAYS respect me as his father and never think he is too big to get whipped, if i had to hit him with my wheelchair then so be it. This crap about not disciplining kids is why we have so many teenage brats running the streets now.

  • Guardian

    Every religion with which I am familiar supports the discplining of children in order for them to grow up and become responsible, law abiding adults. Christianity, Judiasm, Muslim, Buddism, Hinduism, Shinto, et al. Even the ancient pagan cultures supported this. And they all support corporal punishment.

    Here is the deal - there is a vast difference between spanking and abuse. But the liberal leaning citizens today cannot or will not acknowledge that difference. And they will seek to make any argument to support the non-physical forms of discipline. Yet, for those of us who were spanked by loving, upright parents, they cannot or will not acknowledge the success our parents achieved in our raising - those of us who, like our parents, became successful, loving, and devoted parents ourselves - AND LEARNED RIGHT FROM WRONG AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY OF AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR ACTIONS.

    As one poster commented and with which comment I can relate, I got spanked growing up and I deserved every one of them - and there were things I did for which I was not caught, but had I been, I would have deserved a spanking for those acts as well.

  • Questionable

    I seriously doubt that he abuses his kids, considering how this whole thing came to light. Some people will do and say anything to get revenge.

    If he is cleared, I hope he sues the living you know what out of his ex-wife for slander and defamation of character. Falsely accusing someone of such allegations is just unacceptable!

  • Cindy

    Why do I see this turning out like that judge in Texas who should have been in prison himself instead of sending others there. Raising law abiding citizens huh...I take issue w/ that statement. Children will be children & sometimes you just need to let things slide. That judge in Texas beat his daughter with a belt for things that could have been handled with just a simple conversation.

  • Scorned EX

    This isn't even about spanking or the discipline of the children. This is solely about a scorned ex-wife, period!

    Kinda funny how this was NEVER mentioned until now. If the ex truly felt that Plant was abusing their children, why she wait almost two years and after Plant got remarried to bring it up?????

    I smell a vindictive, manipulating, scorned ex!

    • I'm with you

      Of course it's not. But, as you can see from these posts, you say the words "spank" and "abuse" and that's what the focus will be and remain on. The ex is ticked, and her plan is working...very well, obviously!!

  • John

    When did the balance of power shift from the parent to the child? I got spanked many a time growing up and I've never been disrespectful because of it. Today it seems like if little Susie or little Johnny acts up we don't want to scar them emotionally but don't think twice about shoving a pill down their throat to make them behave, right there is your child abuse.

  • DWM

    Until the progressives completely take over and we hand them our kids at 2 years old to be brainwashed, I'd suggest we continue to spank in love, not to hurt, but to correct. A butt is the perfect vehicle for that, no hitting anywhere else, no excessive spanking. A couple of firm whacks on the butt will do the trick.

    • Cindy

      I agree & legally by law...a person can spank their child w/ their hand. Its when they use another instrument that it becomes child abuse. Which I agree. Belt, branches, & huge paddles are not correcting a child out of love but more like taking all your frustration out on this helpless person whose too afraid to do anything about it. That's when I have a problem w/ it.

  • jay zoom

    if there was bruises and the like could be excessive. If not give the man a medal. then spank the mother for her actions.

  • Eersfan

    Don't spank your children, leave them poor kids alone, maybe if we just let them be or put them in time out while they have time to think about their wrongs, they can also be thinking about the next piercing they can get, how they can get bigger wholes in their ear lobe, or just how freaky they can make them selfs look!!!!! And just maybe they will think about freedom of speech also, how they can freely speak out to their elders, teachers, and parents, we have no need for respect today!!!!! I just wonder why our school systems are in the shape that they are today? I guess everyone feels that their childern are safe while they are in school trying to get an education, the fear factor is gone, they wonder why our prision systems are over flowing. Parents want to be their child's best friend first , they want to be the cool parent, instead of being a parent first. I know for me there was something about being told to go out in the back yard and get a switch from that old oak tree, it was the fear factor, usually strighten me right up too!!!!

  • Derrick

    Plants is getting screwed by Judge Mike Kelly. That's what Kelly does to fathers every day. Judge Kelly is the REAL child abuser.

  • Truthishere

    Every time a Republican is a prosecutor, the media goes after him. They did the same thing with Charnock.

  • Mark

    Plants should have prosecuted Judge Kelly months ago for Kelly's civil rights abuses.

  • H.

    The real question here is why did the ex wife wait until now to come forward with the complaint. It sounds to me like there is more going on here than just the issue of spanking. It sounds like there are issues between the ex husband and ex wife that need to be addressed and resolved. It is a shame that the children are caught in the middle.

  • mr bullsnip

    The problem with children today is they don't get discipline in school or anywhere else. Bring back paddeling in schools and spanking at home and kids will learn to respect their elders

  • The truth

    If I am not mistaken whoever released that Allison Plants was the person who made the allegation of abuse just committed a crime. It is stictly a no no and in fact a judge is not even allowed to know who was the person who complained. Now it may be a hit piece but the state police needs disciplined for ruining the investigation from the get go.