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Judge Could Rule As Early As Wednesday On Charleston's Petition To Remove Prosecutor Plants And His Office From Hearing Certain Cases

Reported: Apr. 22, 2014 12:08 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 22, 2014 12:31 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bob Aaron) -- A judge could rule as early as Wednesday on a petition from the city of Charleston to remove Kanawha Prosecutor Mark Plants and his entire 22-person office from a broad spectrum of domestic violence cases.

The issue was prompted by charges of domestic battery and violating a domestic violence petition against Plants. He contended that state law did not prohibit him from spanking his son with a belt. The city feared it jeopardized other cases. The prosecutor has removed himself and others from several cases, but the office contends the prohibition does not have to be as broad as the city wants.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom ordered both sides to submit proposed orders by noon Wednesday and promised a prompt ruling. He expressed concerns that the conflict could jeopardize a variety of domestic cases. Plants attended by did not comment.

The state Supreme Court could also act this week on a recommendation by the Office of Disciplinary counsel that Plants’ office be removed from domestic cases and that he lose his law license. The court meets Tuesday through Thursday.



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