County Commissioners to File Petition for Plants Removal Friday Morning

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- All three Kanawha County Commissioners voted to sign-off on a petition to oust embattled Prosecutor Mark Plants from office.

"This is certainly not an easy decision, but I think it's the right decision," remarked commissioner Dave Hardy during Thursday night's meeting.

The petition will be filed Friday morning. From there a three-judge-panel will hear the case and determine whether or not Plants, an elected official, should keep his job.

Plants is waiting to go on trial on two misdemeanor charges. The first is a domestic battery charge that alleges he used excessive force when punishing his son. The second charge states that he violated a domestic violence protection order that came after the original incident.

Since the charges were filed a judge ruled that neither Plants, nor members of his office are allowed to try similar cases. The cost of the special prosecutors now exceeds $92,000.

According to Melissa Foster-Bird, the lawyer who drew-up the proposal for removal, there is a large burden to prove that Plants should in-fact be ousted.

"It's rare. there's one reported case in the state of West Virginia where a prosecutor has been removed from office under this statute," Foster-Bird explained to WSAZ.com.

The 24 page document outlines facts, the misdemeanor charges Plants is facing. In the pages the chief concerns for his removal are the financial harm special prosecutors are costing the county and the inability of Plants and members of his office to do their jobs.

Victim's advocate Kimberly Eagle said the issue in the prosecutors office spans beyond the walls of the county building.

"Victims just, they are staying in their homes, waiting to see what happens before they make a move," Eagle explained to commissioners.

However Kanawha County resident and domestic violence victim Cynthia Wilson told commissioners she believes Plants should have his day in court before a petition is filed.

"I think the system should provide protection for all of us, equally. I'm not asking for preferential treatment, but I'm demanding equality," Wilson told Commissioners at Thursday night's meeting.

WSAZ.com reached out to Mark Plants for a comment but did not hear back.

We will keep trying.

Continue clicking on WSAZ.com for updates in this case.


WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 271341571 - wsaz.com/a?a=271341571