CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom will hear a dispute next Tuesday between the City of Charleston and the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office over domestic violence cases.
Bloom issued an order Wednesday scheduling a ‘show cause’ hearing for Tuesday at 10 a.m. on the city’s request that the prosecutor’s office be taken off domestic related criminal charges that are filed by city police.
Bloom ordered Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants to show why he shouldn’t rule in favor of the city.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said earlier this week the city was doing its “due diligence” by seeking a judge’s ruling on the issue with the ongoing controversy involving Plants.
The state Office of Disciplinary Counsel has recommended Plants be suspended or removed from domestic violence cases and cases involving children while he awaits the outcome of two criminal cases.
Plants has been charged with violating a domestic protection order filed by his ex-wife and domestic battery for the spanking of his son with a belt. The state Supreme Court has yet to act on the ODC’s recommendation.
Plants has said he believes his office can still handle the domestic violence cases. The city has said it’s concerned about future appeals of its criminal cases if the prosecutor’s office is in charge.
Circuit Judge Bloom is the only Kanawha County circuit judge who did not recuse himself from the city case.
Bloom’s order said he’ll consider “whether to disqualify Plants and his office from: instituting and prosecuting allegations of domestic violence involving a parent, guardian or custodian of a minor child; enforcing or prosecuting domestic violence contempt orders; or participating in abuse and neglect proceedings” until Plants’ disciplinary proceedings or the criminal cases against Plants have been completed.