CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Kanawha County Commission will look at a proposal from Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants to allocate money from his office to cover the costs of a special prosecutor during a meeting next week.
Plants did not attend the Kanawha County Commission’s special meeting on Tuesday that was focused on ways to pay for the special prosecutor who was appointed to handle domestic cases while Plants is facing two of his own misdemeanor charges.
However, after the meeting, Plants sent a memo about his proposed cost savings plan — one that would total more than $111,000 — to commission officials. As proposed, it would pull $75,000 from the drug forfeiture fund along with $25,000 from savings within the prosecutor’s general budget. Also, Plants would waive an $11,592 pay increase that’s set to take effect July 1.
“I think it’s a great idea to use money from the office’s drug forfeiture account to offset these costs,” said Plants in a press release issued Tuesday. “This is not tax-dollar money; this is money seized from dangerous drug dealers.”
Kent Carper, Kanawha County Commission president, quickly sent a memo back asking Plants or one of his representatives to attend the next Kanawha County Commission meeting on June 12 to discuss the matter.
Carper raised a number of issues. “In reference to your salary deduction, as I recall the code section, if you do not elect to take the salary increase prior to July 1, 2014, you will be unable to do so until your term expires, regardless of how the conflict is resolved,” Carper wrote.
He continued, “In reference to your proposal to reduce your 2014-2015 budget by $25,000, where will these cuts come from? I request public assurance these cuts will not affect any blameless employees.”
Plants is accused of violating a domestic protective order along with domestic battery for allegedly beating his son with a belt and leaving a bruise.
Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom appointed Don Morris to serve as chief special prosecutor for domestic cases in Kanawha County to avoid potential conflicts. The next hearing in front of Bloom is scheduled for Thursday.