EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSASSISTANT PROSECUTOR FIRED
from Eyewitness News Online
Longtime Assistant Kanawha County Prosecutor Fired
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Feb. 6, 2013 8:06 AM EST
Updated: Feb. 7, 2013 9:31 AM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
In more than a decade of working for the people of Kanawha County, Maryclaire Akers handled several high profile cases. Among others, she prosecuted convicted sniper Shawn Lester.
However, Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants has decided to go in a different direction for the office and has fired Akers.
"I love Maryclaire Akers and she's a great prosecutor," Plants said. "At the end of the day I met with my chief of staff and my two other co-chiefs of staff and we unanimously made the decision that it's in the best interest of the office that Maryclaire is no longer employed here."
Akers, who formerly served as Plants' chief of staff, recently worked with the U.S. Attorney as a special assistant. Akers says she was surprised by the decision but is confident her former co-workers won't miss a beat as they more forward.
"The office is a wonderful place to work full of very talented, very fine people," Akers said.
Akers says she was happy in the prosecutor's office but understands that Plants has the final say on who works there. However, she says the timing of his decision did catch her off guard.
"I'm puzzled by Mr. Plants' decision because two weeks ago I said, hey, I've got this great opportunity somewhere else. Let's talk about it," Akers said. "And he said I was an A+ prosecutor, asks me not to leave. Two weeks later he lets me go."
Plants says the decision to fire Akers was not one he made lightly, but he believes it is the right move.
"I don't make rash decisions," Plants said. "I didn't make this alone. And every decision I make will always be in the best interest of the office and the best interest of this county."
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