Top Drug Prosecutor In Michigan Disbarred For Soliciting False Testimony

The former chief drug prosecutor for Wayne County, Michigan has been disbarred for her role in soliciting false testimony. Former Wayne County assistant prosecutor Karen Plants had originally been suspended for only two years, but the Attorney Discipline Board on reconsideration bumped the penalty up to full disbarment on reconsideration of her case due to her “lack of reflection.”


After the order of the two year suspension, the Grievance Administrator filed a petition for review and the higher penalty was imposed.

The case began with the case against Alexander Aceval and Ricardo Pena. Ms. Plants was the assistant prosecutor in charge of that case and presented Mr. Chad Povish as a witness. She withheld information from the defense, including the fact that Povish was as a paid confidential informant. The opinion below details a series of false statements made by the witness with the full knowledge of Plant. It is an extraordinary record of deceit before a trier of fact. It also reflects a view from some government lawyers that they are somehow immune from the requirements of truth and candor. This remains a minority of government lawyers and I have found most lawyers — government and non-government — to be faithful to such ethical rules. However, I have been in cases where government lawyers have withheld information or given clearly false information to courts with little apparent concern over the possibility of discipline.

The Board noted:

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. …

The Board recognized that Plants “has served the system well in the past.” However, it found that this service has to be viewed “against the backdrop of the entirety of the circumstances here.” In the end, the Board decided 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.”

Plants recently pleaded guilty to criminal conduct and was sentenced to a six-month jail sentence.

Here is the final order: Plant Order

Source: Free Press as first seen on ABA Journal.

16 thoughts on “Top Drug Prosecutor In Michigan Disbarred For Soliciting False Testimony

  1. Gee, I wonder where government officials could possibly be getting the idea that they are immune from requirements of truth and candor. Certainly couldn’t be a federal government that claims the right to find people ‘guilty’ in secrecy and then order their execution. And it couldn’t be police agencies that think they can spy on citizens while asserting repeatedly, publicly that they aren’t. And it couldn’t possibly be the de facto immunity granted to corporate executives, the wealthy and the powerful.

    What could it possibly be?

  2. It took 13 years to realize prohibition was a mistake, how many more years will we have to wait before Ronnie’s “war on drugs” and Nancy’s “just say no” were indications of monumental stupidity. The hidden secret behind this “war”can be summed up in the now cliched “follow the money”.

  3. “Let’s legalize pot and forbid tobacco.”

    Respectfully disagree. I believe we should legalize everything except harm to others and taking property from others.

  4. Let’s legalize pot and forbid tobacco.

    The DEA keeps a job, but easier to police and investigate tobacco use.. The citizens get a peace-making alternative to the inflammatory alcohol. And the sentences for violators would be 1 year cold turkey. Only the dogs would have to be re-trained, a small problem.

    Besides, it is edible for those concerned about their lungs. And easily served in portions in polite society. Invites snob discussions. And makes home-grown a universal hobby. Just think of the stores selling seeds from different islands, countries, etc. for home cultivation.
    A new industry where the producer is not exploited (necesarily) by large corps.
    Embroider on if you like.

  5. “This criminal case was the creation of the pigs and the so called confidential informant. He was not just an informant he was a crime creator.

    Happened to me too, Dawg.

    Too many special interests (including intelligence services) profit from
    War on (some) Drug users.

    Legalize freedom Now.

  6. This is the infection I call mini-propaganda. We need an infusion of honesty, beginning with our leaders. It is the cure.

  7. Read between the lines….. She is wrong and did wrong…. But Judges have absolute immunity…… Don’t miss that her trial is scheduled in May….. I would like to say more about corruption that extends to the judiciary but will not at this time…..

  8. I have two very good friends who practice law in Michigan and they are rightfully proud of their SBM.

    Their Attorney Grievance Commission (AGC) and Judicial Tenure Commission (for state judges, magistrates, and referees ) are citizen friendly. Petitions for review from the Grievance Administrator are not unusual.

    In seeking to “promote the integrity of the Bar and to protect the public, the courts, and the legal profession”, Michigan does a good job.

  9. TD for reforming the injustice system.

    And will add that the using of national security excuses should be banned in courts.
    If we can’t hear/see the evidence, the forget it.
    They’ve still got Obamas kill rights to use. Irony, sarcasm, etc.

  10. This criminal case was the creation of the pigs and the so called confidential informant. He was not just an informant he was a crime creator. The prosecutor had ex parte meetings with the Judge and informed him of some of the informant matters and to that extent the Judge should be disbarred for participating in the conspiracy. Both prosecutor and judge should lose any immunity in a suit under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 for civil rights violations. against the named criminal defendants who were prosecuted.

    This entire file set forth on this blog should be posted on the Bulletin Board of the Courthouse in that County. Every juror summoned to court in that county should be advised of this case against this assistant prosecutor. If that county is one of those hypocrite counties that posts the Ten Commandments on the courthouse square then this case file should be posted out there on the square in its own prominent bulletin board. The prosecutor speaks for the People of the State of Michigan. They should know all of these details.

  11. I assume that this will have an effect on other cases she’s tried in the past. How many reversals can we expect?? I wonder.

  12. Dawg, Your approach should have the effect of cleaning up some prosecutors’ offices. Now if it could also apply to those government lawyers who keep everything secret so they win we might really have something.

  13. I omitted something in the prior comment. An appropriate sentence for a person in power who is corrupted enough to put on false testimony to convict a human being of a crime and put the person in prison or kill that person is the sentence which they sought for the defendant–the maximum sentence which the judge or jury could have given. The confidential informant should face criminal charges for lying about anything on the stand, even his mere status as a pig squealor. If this prosecutor was an assistant district attorney then her boss should face charges as well. The boss is the superior in a crimiinal enterprise and/or conspirator. Six month in jail is not enough jail time for this prevert.

  14. Maybe you could have inserted the criminal conviction and six month jail sentence to the dirty dog in the heading. This conduct is what the great exceptionalist nation, the United States, prosecuted in the Nuremberg trials. See The Judges Trial on Google. The United States remains exceptional. We wisely forget our prosecutions in Nuremberg after WWII now that we are committing human rights violations world wide.

Comments are closed.