CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Ranging from emotional to defiant, Kanawha County prosecutor Mark Plants said during a news conference Monday he has done nothing wrong by disciplining his son with a spanking.

Plants is charged with misdemeanor domestic battery for allegedly striking his 11-year-old son with a belt more than 10 times in February, a spanking that left a long bruise. His ex-wife, Allison Plants, filed a domestic protective order that prohibited the prosecutor from seeing his two sons. He violated that order last month and was arrested.

The state Office of Disciplinary Council called for Plants to be suspended late last week or that he and his staff disqualify themselves from hearing domestic violence cases involving children. The filing claimed Plants has violated the West Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. The recommendation will be taken up by the state Supreme Court which could schedule a hearing or suspend Plants.

During the news conference Plants made it clear he does not intend to step down.

“If spanking was a crime, 75 percent of Kanawha County would be in jail,” he said.

Plants said he has had little contact with his children in the past seven weeks and should be considered innocent until proven guilty, just like anyone else charged with a crime and going through the justice system.

Plants also spoke about his record as Kanawha County prosecutor. He said the murder rate is down by 75 percent since he took office six years ago and that he has a more successful prosecution rate than previous prosecutors.

Plants took no questions from reporters.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said the city planned to file a court action to keep Plants and his office from prosecuting any domestic violence cases. Jones said they are worried about appeals on those cases from defense attorneys.

“My police department is very uncomfortable right now. There’s not a lot of love loss their anyway,” Jones said. “Our case will rest on whatever the ruling is from the Supreme Court.”

There’s no word on when the Supreme Court will rule on the ODC’s recommendation.

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  • thornton

    Controlling a temper or dealing with frustration as a father would seem important skills transferrable to the job of Prosecutor....if not, the courtroom judge may be the one leaving the bruises on Plants.

    Many in the same situation with that job might take the ODC note as a nudge and step away for the appearance of correctness and derailing future case objections with time and money at issue.
    To not do so can imply self-focus and ego gone wild.

    Sad that there are so many unhappy and vengeful ex-husbands that read MetroNews....and ex-wives as well, I reckon.
    They all kinda blur the obvious steps this issue demands and lowers or even ignores the concerns for the innocent kid(s) or kids who never deserve to be pawns in relationships or examples of parental My Way power.

  • Carol Hudson


  • donald j simpson

    hey that woman sounds like my ex wife she would do anything she could to get back at me and make it hard on me

  • donald j simpson

    Mark plants should stay at his job.also his x wife should be changed with felony child neglect like the lady that left her baby in the car seat and the car was stolen. And another thing Danny Jones should keep his nose out of it

    • Jim G

      Donald you do realize that the "children" were in grade school and middle school? Hardly babies in car seats!

      • Silas Lynch

        So, because they were old enough to attend public school you think they were old enough to fend off a car-jacker. Brilliant!!

        • Anthony

          So we're supposed to coddle our children to the point that two teenagers aren't able to wait in a pharmacy parking lot for their mom? Give me a break. If your son is old enough for you to think whipping them 10 times with a belt hard enough to leave a bruise is an acceptable form of discipline, they can certainly sit in a parked car for a few minutes.

  • J the C

    Ms. Smith's report is a little blurry, but if I read this right, Mr. Plants has been charged with domestic battery on his son, and with violating a domestic protection order, both of which are misdemeanors, but has been convicted of NOTHING yet!!!! Furthermore, the accused is an estranged or ex-wife in a messy divorce. The man might be innocent! What the heck has become of the presumption of innocence, which is supposed to be a keystone to our criminal justice system.

    • angel

      In judge Kelly's family court room great father are found guilty every day , sometime for nothing more than sending a text message asking how their children are to their vendictive exs , The Exs then drag them to court and with the help of marks office uses lies to block the fathers from the childrens lives .. it is the children who suffer most . To those who hurt children , I hope karma catches up with you all.

    • The bookman

      I agree Mr J the C. However, I believe he should take a voluntary leave of absence until this issue has been resolved.

      The public deserves a prosecutor that is above reproach and any appearance of impropriety. And because he is the prosecutor in the county that holds the seat of State Government, it is bigger than just a Kanawha County issue. Guilty? Not until proven so by the preponderance of the evidence. He would gain more support by putting the people of Kanawha County and the State of West Virginia ahead of his own self interest to belligerently stand firm in his position.

      • griff

        Hey bookman, you must believe you are in Wonderland. There is not a county in this state where the prosecutor is "above reproach & who is the pillar of the community". Not even the county commisioner's in Nicholas County are honest

        • The bookman

          I think he would serve himself and his family better if he stepped outside the light. The issue has raised reasonable conflicts in his ability and that of his office to carry out his duty to the people he serves.

          If the conduct of a police officer is questioned and an investigation is deemed necessary, that officer is placed on administrative leave to ensure as best as possible the integrity of the investigation. That's the real world, not Wonderland. He should voluntarily follow that path. As for your comment regarding all prosecutors in the state, it's absurd and lazy to make such absolute comments. There are good and decent people that serve throughout the state, and Mark Plants is one of them. I suggest he act like it.

      • wv4evah

        Bookman: amen

  • Jethro

    Plants could button up that collar and at least look professional.

    He needs to resign immediately.

  • Mason County Contrarian

    P.T. Barnum would love this circus.

  • angel

    In domestic Vioence court In kanawha county you are guilty and no one cares what you have to say or what witteness you might have , Mark plants of all people should know what goes on in domestic violence court .

  • Curly Joe

    Messy divorce aside, what in the world is a man this size doing striking an 11-year old repeatedly with a belt? Is this what the weight room and training table at WVU prepared him for?

    • Anthony

      Exactly. As upset as the wife may be, she didn't fabricate the bruise on her kid. Spanking a toddler I suppose I understand, but not if the goal is to inflict pain. Whipping an 11 year old with a belt is another matter, what did he hope to accomplish with 10 lashes? I would expect our prosecutor to find a more constructive way to teach a lesson.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Double Down Danny needs to shut up

  • Think about it

    First I am not saying that I agree with what has taken place in Plants personal life, that is his business. I think these guys are on a witch hunt because he has really did something about cleaning up issues in Charleston. I believe that there is a difference in whipping your child and beating your child. Why do you think we are in the shape we are in as a society. I bet we all can name a couple of highlevel authorities that has done the same thing but no one wanted to get rid of them, maybe what is boils down to is that he is really stepping on someone toes

  • Dandy Dave

    What is most troubling to me about Mr. Plants is that if the news reports are true, he's apparently a bold faced liar and shouldn't be trusted in his official capacity any longer. News reports stated that Mr. Plants lied to the investigators. Intially, he stated that he struck his son twice. Now we're hearing that it was about 10 times. The man apparently has very little integrity. Now he's playing the "fear card". Does anyone really believe that the murder rate went down because of him? What a tangled web some people weave. I feel sorriest for his children having to live through this.

    • J the C

      Dave, when did we switch from a trial by jury to a trial by newspaper. You believe he lied because you read it in a newspaper? Jesshh!! How about if we get some first hand evidence into a Court.

    • Gary Karstens

      The lying part is criminal. What is bad too is the part about his new wife soaring to the top of the PA office. It appears there is a lot to this scandal.

  • angel

    How can Mark Plants or his office put people in jail for violating restraining orders yet believe its OK for him to do??? All of the orders this office was a part of need looked at more closely.

  • Aaron

    Wow I don't believe the prosecutor should resign I do think in the interest of his office he should take a leave of absence until this issue is resolved.

    Regardless of his guilt or innocence, the office he holds requires a higher level of integrity and even the appearance of impropriety can do damage to that office. This is not about Mark Plants, it's about the Kanawha County prosecutor's office.

    • The bookman

      Agreed. It's becoming a circus for the media, and does all involved a disservice.

  • Gary Karstens

    I actually think it is time for some state officials to call on a more higher office to intercede. I believe it is time to bring in Eric Holder to confront this atrocity.

    • Randy

      Thanks. I read more metro news stories than usual just to look for your brilliance.

    • Max

      Give me a break...Eric Holder!!!! You got to be kidding...he's been held in "Contempt of Congress" for not coming clean...when Holder testifies his standard response is "I don't remember" thanks...there is no bigger ATROCITY than Eric Holder.