DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from a former top drug prosecutor who was disbarred for allowing perjury at a 2005 trial.
The court won’t upset the punishment ordered last spring by the Attorney Discipline Board. Karen Plants was head of the drug unit in the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.
Plants allowed Inkster police officers to lie about a paid informant’s role in a 103-pound cocaine bust during the drug trial of Alexander Aceval in Wayne County Circuit Court.
The informant, Chad Povish, said the message from then-prosecutor Plants was clear: “I didn’t know either of the officers.” But in fact, Povish tipped Inkster police to the big stash and was arrested with Aceval, the alleged kingpin, to further cover up his role. When Aceval went to trial, Povish’s role as an informant was never disclosed to the defense.
Aceval’s cocaine trial ended in a mistrial, although not because of perjury. He later pleaded guilty and is in a state prison until at least 2015.
In 2011, Plants pleaded guilty to misconduct in office and was sentenced to six months in jail. Plants said she was trying to protect the informant’s identity, but later acknowledged that allowing perjury at trial was wrong.
Initially, Plants’ law license was suspended for two years. The Attorney Grievance Commission appealed, saying the punishment was too lenient. The Discipline Board agreed and revoked her license in March 2012.
Under Michigan rules, Plants can seek to have her law license reinstated after five years.
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