The target of the probe is Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants, who was accused Wednesday of abusing "one of his children by disciplining him in an excessive manner," the Charleston Gazette reported Thursday.
Plants, 37, has been Kanawha County prosecutor since 2008 and was re-elected in 2012. He married his former secretary, Sarah Foster, in January.
He and his former wife, Allison, have two sons.
"For the past 10 years, my ex-wife and I have agreed that spanking on occasion is an appropriate form of discipline," Plants said during a 2-minute news conference Thursday, WSAZ-TV, Charleston, reported. "I know people disapprove of that, but both my ex-wife and I agree it is appropriate at times. We both spank our children."
Plant said spanking only became an issue after he remarried.
The charges of child abuse are being investigated by the State Police Crimes Against Children Unit, the Gazette said.