PRINCETON, W.Va. — A Mercer County magistrate said Friday Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants has to enroll in a batterers intervention program—-or he could be held in contempt of court.
Plants asked Special Magistrate Mike Flanigan to allow him to stand trial on two domestic related charges instead but the judge denied it saying Plants had previously agreed to the pretrial program. Plants said the only way to clear his name now is to go to trial. Plants’ attorney may make another motion at a compliance hearing set for Aug. 27.
Special Prosecutor Sid Bell said he now expects Plants to enroll in the batterers prevention program in Putnam County.
Meanwhile, the Kanawha County Commission’s petition to have Plants removed from office was officially filed Friday in circuit court. The state Supreme Court could appoint a three judge panel soon.
Plants’ troubles started earlier this year when he was charged with violating domestic violence protective order, a misdemeanor. Later his was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery after a discipline incident after using a belt on his son during a discipline incident.
The prosecutor and his staff have been unable to prosecute domestic violence related cases because of the conflict. A special prosecutor has cost Kanawha County more than $92,000.