CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Davis appointed a three-judge panel Monday to take up the case filed by the Kanawha County Commission to remove elected Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants from office.
Davis appointed Preston County Circuit Judge Larry Miller, Berkeley County Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes and Pleasants County Circuit Judge Tim Sweeney to form the panel. The hearing has been initially scheduled for Sept. 22-23.
The county commission filed the petition last week alleging Plants has committed malfeasance in office because he is currently unable to do the job he was elected to do.
Neither Plants nor his assistants can prosecute domestic violence-related cases because Plants faces two misdemeanor charges himself. He allegedly violated a domestic protective order filed his ex-wife and he was also charged with domestic battery after a belt he used while disciplining his son allegedly left a bruise.
The county commission said a special prosecutor handling the domestic violence cases has already cost more than $92,000.
Plants has said on numerous occasions he plans on fighting the attempt. He also wants to go to trial on the charges but a magistrate last week ruled he had to go through a previously agreed to pretrial diversion program. Plants’ attorney filed a motion Monday asking again that trials be scheduled.
Judges Miller and Wilkes are Republicans like Plants; Judge Sweeney is a Democrat.