Panel Recommends Magistrate Be Reprimanded

A judicial panel recommends Kanawha County magistrate Ward Harshbarger be publicly reprimanded. There are ethics allegations against Harshbarger after he rejected a domestic violence petition against Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants. The Judicial Investigation Commission held a hearing Monday and Harshbarger was there for it. Plants’ ex-wife, Allison wanted a domestic violence protective order after an incident with the couple's son in February, and there are allegations Harshbarger didn't give it a fair review, and discussed the petition with police officers who weren't involved in the case. Harshbarger apologized at Monday's hearing.