Kanawha Co Prosecutor Mark Plants says allegations alone don’t j - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Kanawha Co Prosecutor Mark Plants says allegations alone don’t justify license suspension

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Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants says his law license should’t be at risk simply because his ex-wife has accused him of abusing one of their sons.

The Office of Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel had petitioned the state Supreme Court to either suspend Plants’ law license or disqualify his office from litigating domestic violence cases after his ex-wife, Allison, obtained a protection from domestic violence order against him in April.

Allison Plants alleges her ex-husband spanked one of their sons with a leather belt, leaving a six- or seven-inch U-shaped bruise on the boy's body, and forced the boy to apologize to his step-brother. The two had argued over a scooter and the Plants boy “forcibly” took the toy away from his step-brother.

Police subsequently filed misdemeanor charges against Mark Plants, alleging he used excessive force to discipline his son and that he violated the protection order.

Plants pointed out he has’t been convicted of any wrongdoing and suggests that “parental disciplinary actions” he's been accused of do not constitute a violation of West Virginia law.

Suspending his law license would be “unneeded and potentially unnecessarily unfair and prejudicial to the personal rights of (Mark Plants) as he responds to the criminal charges and any ethics charge that may be lodged against him,” he said in his formal response.

He also pointed out his office had already withdrawn from involvement in domestic violence cases.

 “Any action as prayed by OCD ... is unnecessary, would work unnecessary additional disruption of the Office of the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney and would work injury to his family and unfairness to him in his defense of the criminal charges,” it said.

Plants had previously admitted he disciplined the boy, but said he and his ex-wife had agreed that spanking was an appropriate form of discipline.