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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  • Crystal

    I think it is absurd to suggest that a parent (mother or father) should not spank a child when they are angry. If I followed that "rule," my child would never get a spanking! Of course, I'm angry, and there is a reason he/she is getting a spanking. I'm angry about something they've done, and my job as a parent is to correct my child and teach him/her that there are consequences to his/her behavior - bad or good. Children should be rewarded for doing good things too with praise and sometimes even things - depends on the situation.

    Now, that being said, there is also my responsibility to make the punishment suit the crime. A child should NOT be spanked for everything they do wrong any more than an adult should be sentenced to life in prison for shoplifting a blouse. I heard once that corporal punishment crosses the line and becomes abuse when a red mark becomes a bruise and/or does not disappear in 24 hours. I think that's a good gauge too. A spanking (administered justly) should NOT result in injury.

  • Curious

    I wonder is beach vacation that he is on is on the tax payers DIME since PER his BOND agreement , he is not to leave the state unless it is for a CLE class!!! Spanking is one thing, but leaving a BRUISE is another story, that is ABUSE!!! His stupdity is putting other children in danger, because when their parents beat them, they will just throw out Mark Plants case to defend themselves.

  • vbins

    ....lot of love loss THEIR anyway....How about some correct grammar? "There"?

  • Tim C

    My father gave me a spanking with a belt (more than one) as I was growing up and I'm here to tell you that while my rear end stung it sure didn't kill me or damage me permanently. My love for my father didn't diminish one bit because of it either. This appears to be nothing more than a "witch hunt" by a vindictive ex spouse. Because of his high profile job every liberal and politician wants to make political fodder of this very simple disciplinary action between a father and son. Danny Jones has no business interjecting himself into this. This is a family issue. Mark Plants family. Maybe if more of you wishy washy parents spanked your children more often as they were misbehaving growing up our crime rates wouldn't be soaring and our jails wouldn't be overflowing. 10 licks with a belt on the kids behind is nothing. Been there, felt that. There's a lot of padding back there and I'm sure the child has no lasting effects other than being embarrassed that this minor issue becoming front page news. The government had taken discipline out of the schools and look how that is working. Now they are trying to take it out of the home and the hands of the parents. Beware!

  • P B and J

    So......basically Danny Jones said Charleston is a domestic violence free for all until this issue is resolved??? When it comes to DV you really need KC Circuit Court. It's not really something you hold in Charleston City Court. DV isn't a seatbelt violation. What an idiot......anyways let the beatings commence!

  • northforkfisher

    I believe he should dismiss himself from domestic violence cases, if he could he really should take a leave of absence. This whole stinks of fishy motives, especially since it's near election time.

  • arp

    The evil Charleston Gazette rails against a Republican prosecutor, but nary a word about the most criminal U.S. Attorney General we've had since John Mitchell.

  • Silas Lynch

    These days I find myself listening to Hoppy's show less and less-- Today was no exception, I tuned in just in time to hear one of the reasons I listen less these days--- Danny Jones going unchallenged by Hoppy as he spewed his hate filled political gossip and innuendoes all as facts and as usual Hoppy cowering in his studio in fear he'll lose someone as a future guest if he dares challenge them.

    Pathetic that Kent Carper, Danny Jones, Howard Monroe and Nick Joe can say what they want and Hoppy raises not even a eye-brow in objection with them but I have noticed he assumes the personality of a young Mike Wallace when David McKinley appears on his show.. McKinley could say the sea was deep and blue and Hoppy would challenge it while interrupting him and talking over him...

  • Mister G!

    Instead of suspension, perhaps Plants should be beaten with belt. Real tough guy to do that to an 11-year-old.

  • 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.