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WV Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Monday In Plants' Disciplinary Case

Reported: May. 5, 2014 9:02 AM EDT
Updated: May. 5, 2014 9:07 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – West Virginia Supreme Court justices on Monday are scheduled to hear arguments on a request by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel to have Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants’ law license suspended.

The hearing is scheduled at 1 p.m. in Charleston.

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a petition with the court, saying that Plants should be removed and that he and his office should not hear any domestic violence cases involving parents and their minor children. The counsel claims there is a conflict of interest because Plants faces charges of domestic battery after hitting his child with a belt and violating a domestic violence petition.

Since that time, the city of Charleston filed a petition in Kanawha Circuit Court, seeking to have Plants and his office banned from handling domestic cases in the city involving parents and their minor children. Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom then stepped in and swore in several special assistant prosecutors to handle all cases in Kanawha County involving abuse and neglect, crimes of violence by a parent, guardian or custodian against a child and violations of domestic violence protection orders.

Plants has maintained he did nothing wrong and was merely exercising his constitutional right as a parent to discipline is child, and he has refused to resign. The prosecutor also said the conflict of interest claim is no longer an issue because his office has stepped aside and is not hearing such cases. He also argues the allegations are not serious enough to warrant a suspension.

The Disciplinary Counsel argues that a conflict of interest continues to remain with Plants in his position as prosecutor and that he should still be suspended.

To watch the Supreme Court’s live stream of Monday’s arguments in the Plants’ case, click here.



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