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Kanawha County Prosecutor Responds To Abuse Allegations

Reported: Feb. 27, 2014 4:38 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 27, 2014 5:10 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants is being investigated by the West Virginia State Police after his ex-wife alleged he used excessive discipline on one of their children.

Mark Plants said he and his ex-wife had an agreement that spanking their children was an appropriate form of discipline. He said there were no problems for 10 years until he decided to remarry.

Plants and his ex-wife have two sons and were divorced in 2012. Mark Plants remarried in December.

Mark Plants calls the allegations "political mudslinging" because Allison Plants has hired Charleston attorney Mike Clifford, a former county prosecutor.

Mark Plants said he is cooperating with investigators.

Allison Plants' attorney Mike Clifford said an emergency protective order issued Thursday requires Mark Plants to stay away from her and their sons.

Here is Mark Plants' entire statement:

"For the past 10 years, my ex-wife and I have agreed that spanking on occasion is an appropriate form of discipline. I know that some people disagree with that but both my wife and I agree that it is appropriate at times and we both spank our children.

This was not an issue until I recently got remarried and she recently hired Mike Clifford. And this is a page right out of Mike Clifford's playbook.

And I don't come to you today as a prosecutor. I come to you today as a father. As a father I'm absolutely disgusted that my children are being involved in political mud-slinging and politically motivated allegations.

I've cooperated with investigators. I've spoken with the lead investigator. I've done everything that law enforcement has asked me to do.

I love my children. My children love me. I'm very involved with all of their sports. I am the elected prosecutor but my number one most important job is to be a father and to raise respectable, law-abiding children.

If we had more parents who raised their children in a respectable manner we would likely have less criminals. Thank you."

Messages to Allison Plants and Clifford were not returned. The state police declined to comment on camera about the investigation. A spokesman says the allegations are being investigated by the Crimes Against Children unit.



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