CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants heads to court Monday for oral arguments before the state Supreme Court. The state Office of Disciplinary Counsel recommended last month that Plants’ law license be suspended.
Plants was charged with domestic battery for hitting his 11-year-old son with a belt 10 times back in February and leaving a mark. Then in March he was charged for violating a domestic protective order. Plants argued it was in his right to discipline his child and he did so without the intent to harm.
Two weeks ago, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom ordered that all cases involving children and violence, in the city of Charleston, be handled by a special prosecutorial team. Retired Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Don Morris is heading up that 4-person team.
Plants is fighting the ODC’s attempt to remove him from office. On Thursday Plants asserted that since Judge Bloom’s order took all cases similar to Plants’ own and handed them over to the special prosecutorial team, there is no conflict of interest and he should be allowed to continue on with his job. He called the ODC’s actions “unnecessary.”
The Supreme Court will have to determine if what Plants did meets the charges of ethical misconduct. Plants has refused to step down from office.