Former Wayne assistant prosecutor Karen Plants disbarred

Former Wayne County assistant prosecutor Karen Plants has been disbarred for her role in a perjury scandal. [Opinion hosted on SBM Blog].

Plants was the prosecutor in the People v. Aceval case which landed former Judge Mary Waterstone in hot, er, water.

She was initially suspended for two years, but the Attorney Discipline Board said that was too light considering her role in allowing knowingly false testimony from police officers and an informant to hide the identity of the informant.

According to the opinion, Plants allowed the following to happen during the course of the trial:

*Respondent’s statements to defense counsel that Povish had no “deals” before his testimony at trial (for which he was given immunity at the insistence of defense counsel);
*False testimony by Povish that he had not met Rechtzigel or McArthur before March 11, 2005, when in fact he had been a confidential informant on this and other cases before then;
*False testimony by Povish about his employment and sources of income (i.e., excluding his income as an informant on Aceval/Pena and other cases);
*False testimony by Povish that he had no “deal” with the police or prosecution before he began to testify;
*False testimony by Povish about why the police did not charge him along with Aceval and Pena for possession of 47 kilos of cocaine, what the police said when they let him go, whether he was worried about being prosecuted, and why he did not hire an attorney.

She was accused of not just keeping information from the court, but keeping it from her supervisors who were advising her on how to proceed.

The Administrator argues that respondent did not suddenly find herself in a jam; nor did the situation unexpectedly “snowball.” We agree. She made a decision to call a confidential informant who participated in the drug transaction as a witness at trial, and then she did what was necessary to keep his relationship to the police from the jury. The lack of reflection about the seriousness of the submission of false testimony that is shown by respondent’s failure to consider readily available and ethically required alternatives is disturbing. …

Therefore, although this lawyer has served the system well in the past, when we consider the mitigation offered against the backdrop of the entirety of the circumstances here, it is our considered view that disbarment is not only appropriate in this case, but that anything less would seriously weaken a lawyer’s cardinal duty to the system of justice.

1 thought on “Former Wayne assistant prosecutor Karen Plants disbarred

  1. Pingback: City attorney in Kwame texting case suspended 90 days | The Michigan Lawyer

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