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.

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  • Fifty Five

    I'm very confused after listening to the Q's from the SUPCO. I think I'm a resident of Kanawha Co. but they've got me questioning my residence. Judge Bloom made a ruling for the city of Charleston BUT not the county so it seems the higher court ONLY believes Charleston= Kanawha Co. Do I start paying certain taxes in Putnam or Jackson Co.? More confused than ever!!

  • specialkay

    90% of the criminals in our justice system were abused or neglected as children. Beating children does not teach them to grow up to be law abiding citizens... It teaches them that that being abused by an older, bigger adult is a fact of life. Furthermore, physical abuse damages a child's brain function, which leads to reckless and violent behavior later in life. Ask any neurologist.

  • packman

    It's a Damn shame were not allowed to whip our kids it's no wonder they have no respect for nothing

    • K. Kelly

      Ridiculous,
      This buffoon is a disgrace to Kanawha County and to West Virginia. If he had any class at all he would resign, instead of putting the taxpayers through all of this embarrassment and expense.

    • Jim

      I've got no problem with a spanking leaving a bruise per se. I certainly had welts and bruises on me. At the time, I didn't like it, but it probably drove home an important lesson that helped later. Add in that my parents aren't perfect people, and they might have been, erm, angry when they were doing it, and a mark on they back of my leg isn't anyting unexpected.

      Fists, broken bones, cigarette burns, stove burns, sexual abuse, ducking the kid's head underwater in a full sink? I had friends that were abused. Getting hit with the strap part of the belt is not abuse. It's love.

    • Jim G.

      We are (we're by the way not were) allowed to spank our children. But 10 lashes with a belt that leave bruises cross the line. That is the crux of the problem here. I was spanked with a belt occasionally as a child but I rest assure you my parents NEVER hit me ten times or left a bruise. Couple of whacks or three tops is enough to get the point across. A 280 lb. man hitting an eleven year old ten (at least) times with a belt and leaving a 7 inch bruise is brutality not discipline.

  • Tyrone

    All i have to say is wow the state supreme court. If i was bringing a case before the state supreme court i would be waiting till the cow jumps over the moon . Must be a privilege to be a well you know where i am coming from.

  • William Glasser

    Plants's best argument is his contention that the he is no longer conflicted since Judge Bloom imposed a court-ordered remedy which his, Plant's, alleged conduct necessitated.

    Think about it. The remedy his conduct occasioned shields him from accountability for his conduct.

  • thornton

    The good news in this issue is the likelihood that Plants does not own a birddog.

  • arp

    Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty????

    • Aaron

      This is not about the case involving his child, it's about whether as one who's violated a protective order and involved in a domestic dispute, can he be effective in his job.

      His actions since the allegations came out demonstrate a continued lack of reasonable judgement. If the court doesn't send him packing, voters should.

    • William Glasser

      Plants confessed on TV. He said he did all those things but had good excuses.

      1. The belt went wild on its own.

      2. The ex-wife headed for the wine shelf.

      and

      3. The Trooper who investigated he was not a criminal

    • William Glasser

      Plants's intent was to beat his son with his belt and not leave a mark. The belt went wild on its own. So, at most Plants can only be cited for failure to maintain control of his belt. A simple traffic ticket.

      It is hard to know where to grab hold of the Plant's situation. There are so many prickly parts.

      The secret baby with the office subordinate while both were married to others would be a good departure point, if there he were under a contract with a morals clause. Sadly, there is no way to enforce morals in his position.

      His claim that extraordinary salary increases are permitted for his girlfriend, since she is not a relative, is another possible place to start. However, West Virginia law may be on his side. and

      His self-serving, disingenuous attempt to redefine "spanking" to include beating with a belt would be a perfect departure point, were it not for the snarky desperation it reveals.

      The absolute best is his contention that the he is no longer conflicted since Judge Bloom imposed a court-ordered remedy which his, Plant's, allegedly criminal conduct necessitated.

      Think about it. The remedy his conduct occasioned shields him from accountability for his conduct.

      The absolute definition of cleverness.

      So, he says "Go away, Supreme Court. Nothing to see here."

      The man has a certain symmetrical cheekiness, you have to admit.

      In these parts, he is the High Prince of Chutzpah

  • William Glasser

    It is hard to know where to grab hold of the Plant's situation. There are so many prickly parts.

    The secret baby with the office subordinate while both were married to others would be a good departure point, if there he were under a contract with a morals clause. Sadly, there is no way to enforce morals in his position.

    His claim that extraordinary salary increases are permitted for his girlfriend, since she is not a relative, is another possible place to start. However, West Virginia law may be on his side. and

    His self-serving, disingenuous attempt to redefine "spanking" to include beating with a belt would be a perfect departure point, were it not for the snarky desperation it reveals.

    The absolute best is his contention that the he is no longer conflicted since Judge Bloom imposed a court-ordered remedy which his, Plant's, allegedly criminal conduct necessitated.

    Think about it. The remedy his conduct occasioned shields him from accountability for his conduct.

    The absolute definition of cleverness.

    So, he says "Go away, Supreme Court. Nothing to see here."

    The man has a certain symmetrical cheekiness, you have to admit.

    In these parts, he is the High Prince of Chutzpah

  • Aaron

    Why don't they bring the Judge down from Randolph and make this "dumba** elected officials making poor decisions who refuse to ackknowledge their mistakes and do the right thing for their constituents stepping down" at the Supreme Court day!!!

    • The bookman

      I thought "Steam Release" was on Fridays not Sundays.

      • Aaron

        I'm just saying they should kill 2 birds with one stone by getting rid of both cases.