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.

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Comments

  • TLC

    The Kanawha Co. Commission look like fools over all this. He should have never been forced off cases. That's why they owe so much money. Don't know any people in this story, but I would guess Mr. Plants is not very well liked by these people and they say a chance to get rid of him by railroad. So far so bad.

  • Follow The Money

    The charges re: Plants domestic is placed on hold & he's on probation. That is fine if he were private citizen & first time offender.

    I'm confused why the county commish & those in charge of the county's budget will sit back & accept the Quashing of the money trail that Mark is responsible for. I suggest HE
    pay for the $200.00 an hour Prosecutor Morris. Dropped the ball & accountability AGAIN!!!!! Your tax dollars at work Kanawha Co. Keep doing the same thing over & expecting different results = insanity!!

  • arp

    The Gazette-lead lynch mob had Plants guilty and ousted before this thing even came to a hearing. It's politically-motivated, people.

    • William Glasser

      Plants confessed on TV. Could not shut up about his constitutional right to belt his kid and his excuse for violating the protective order.

      How did the Gazette make him confess ?

  • Nothing Changes

    What a joke. Good old corrupt WV.

  • Aaron

    While I have been outspoken in that I believe Plants should have stepped aside from his public duties during this investigation, the sentence he received is ordinary for first time offenders in similar circumstances.

    • William Glasser

      Plants's constitutional argument turned the tide.

      • Aaron

        I don't know about that as the agreement is pretty much spelled out in the law.

  • cutty77

    Why did anybody think this would have a different outcome. They protect there own.

  • Dennis

    All Kanawha County parents should go home and punish their children with a belt and when their spouse obtains a protective order against them, they should violate it. When they are arrested, they should demand the same sentence as the government officials reserve for themselves. I am being very sarcastic, but I agree with commissioner Carper in that there are a lot of questions yet to be answered.

    • Can it get any more corrupt

      Couldn't have said it better. The precedent is now set.

  • William Glasser

    Plants gets off. and

    The public gets the (considerable) bill.

    Might as well give him a good conduct ribbon to boot.