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Magistrate admits not following procedures in domestic violence petition against prosecutor
Reported by: Associated Press
Monday, May 5, 2014 4:53 PM EDT
The state Judicial Hearing Board has recommended a public censure, a $2,000 fine plus court costs for a Kanawha County magistrate who admits he mishandled a domestic violence petition against the county's prosecutor.
The Judicial Investigation Commission accused Harshbarger of not following proper procedures and discussing the petition with police officers who weren't involved in the case.
Media outlets report Harshbarger on Monday admitted to making mistakes when prosecutor Mark Plants' ex-wife, Allison Plants, sought the petition on Feb. 26. Harshbarger told her he could either deny the petition and she could appeal to circuit court, or she could take it to a family court the next day for consideration.