CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Misdemeanor charges against Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants will be dropped if he complies with a pre-trial diversion agreement reached Wednesday with a special prosecutor.
As part of that deal, the charges of battery and violating a domestic protective order against Plants will stand for one year and then be dismissed after that — if all requirements are met.
Plants was initially charged with battery for allegedly beating his son with a belt.
Mercer County Magistrate Mike Flanigan, the special magistrate for the case, signed off on the deal Wednesday prior to what was supposed to be a status conference that would have included the scheduling of a trial date.
Additionally, Plants will be allowed supervised visits with his kids, but he cannot have any contact with his ex-wife, Allison. Plants has also agreed to publicly apologize.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said Wednesday afternoon county officials were waiting to review the agreement.
“At this time, I have more questions than answers,” Carper said in a statement. “How will this affect criminal cases currently being handled by a very costly special prosecutor? How does this affect the ability of the prosecutor’s office to handle criminal cases, in general?”
Domestic cases and those involving children in Kanawha County were moved to that special prosecutor’s office because of possible conflicts.
The state Supreme Court has not ruled on a recommendation from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel that Plants either be suspended or disqualified from certain cases because of the charges.