CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state tax commissioner let the Kanawha County Commission know Wednesday that he’s not going to get involved in the controversy involving elected Prosecutor Mark Plants.

The commission is talking about having Plants removed from office because of the mounting special prosecutor bills because Plants is still charged with two domestic related misdemeanor crimes and cannot prosecutor similar cases.

Language in state code allows the state tax commissioner to start removal proceedings against some court officers over financial issues. The commission began researching the option, but Kanawha County Commissioner Dave Hardy said Wednesday that won’t be an option.

“The tax commissioner has declined to be involved in the situation and referred us back to the West Virginia removal statute,” Hardy said. “The removal statute puts a very high standard on removing an elected official from office.”

Hardy has been calling for Plants to resign for several weeks. He said it would solve the financial problems the special prosecutor bills are causing, which has been about $30,000 a month. But Plants has said he has no plans to resign. He recently signed up in a community corrections program that could lead to the charges against him being dismissed.

The county commission plans to discuss its next step at its Thursday evening meeting. Hardy said the county’s research shows only one elected prosecutor has been removed from office by a special three judge panel. He said it happened in 1999 in Logan County.

“There is a very, very high presumption that once a person is elected to an office they should be allowed to finish out the term. In other words, the public is the ultimate decider of who is in an office.”

Hardy said despite the difficulty he still wants to look at the removal process.

“I’m willing to vote to institute a petition for removal if our county attorney tells me he thinks we can have a good chance of prevailing,” he said.

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  • Jim N Charleston

    Salaries For:

    WV Governor = $150k a year or $12500 a month,
    WV Sec of State, WV Attorney General, & WV State Treasurer all = $95k a year or $7916.67 a month,
    WV Supreme Court Justice = $121k a year or $10083.33 a month

    Kanawha County Special Prosecutor who only handles Domestic Violence Cases = $360k a year or $30000 a month.

    Must be really "Special" for the great Kanawha County Commission to agree to pay that much for a prosecutor to only handle domestic violence cases.

    Btw US Attorney General only makes $180k a year or $15000 a month.

    God Bless Political Favors in WV and Bless the great Kanawha County Commission for looking out for the way Kanawha County Tax Dollars are spent.

    I wonder how much the cost for the Kanawha County Attorney to study a petition for removal.

    All I got
    I'm Jim N So Charleston

  • Aaron

    Didn't Mr. Plants say at one of the council meetings that before he caused the county to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for the special prosecutor he would resign first? This further cements that is not a man of his word. How can anyone defend this man?

    • Slick Willy

      Here is what he said "I have no intention of sticking around for YEARS costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a taxpayer, I'm appalled by that."

      He also said on Talkline “If ever I AGREE that it’s in the best interests of the office for me to resign, I’ll resign tomorrow".

      The operative words in the above quotes are "years" as opposed to "months" and "HE AGREES" as opposed to "anybody who could fog a mirror would agree".

      Bottom line - he seems fine with sticking around for 8 more MONTHS at $30k per month and is
      not appalled by the cost and will never AGREE it is best for the office for him to resign.

      Very Clintonesque and delusional .... The problem is Plants is no Bill Clinton.

  • Fransisco Scaramanga

    Very simple. Let's get a petition started and get this dumb caveman out of office. He is a joke and disgrace to the legal profession. Out of respect for the voters and the office, he should have taken a leave of absence until this situation was resolved or resigned completely. I've heard scuttlebutt that Cro-magnon man Plants thinks he is going to run for a vacant circuit judge position that will come up. This guy obviously played too much footbal (we he was not riding the bench) without a helmet. Just do us all a favor and leave office!

    • Silas Lynch

      Why don't YOU do all of society a favor and turn in your voter registration card... People that sound as you really shouldn't have a say in how we conduct our day to day affairs in society.

    • Fransisco Scaramanga

      (when he was not riding the bench)

      • Reba

        AMEN!! Very well said! Could not agree more! I am sick of this $&%&!!!