MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) — An audit of the Bell County clerk's office has been referred to a regional ethics commission due to a claim of nepotism.
The Middlesboro Daily News (http://bit.ly/188Hv2t) reports the state audit found the brother of Clerk Becky Blevins was hired in January 2011 as a part-time employee making $12 per hour, though the amount was later reduced to $10 hourly. A press release states a full-time employee hired in 2008 made $9.50 hourly.
The county has a policy in place that bars family members of county officials from being paid at a higher rate or holding better benefits than other employees with similar job duties, responsibilities and qualification requirements.
In response, Blevins said workers in her office are paid fairly.
"Every employee is paid based on their level of responsibility and performance," said Blevins. "If an employee's level of responsibility changes, then their pay rate changes. If they progress upward to a higher level of responsibilities, then their pay rate increases."
The audit recommended the clerk consult with Bell County Attorney Neil Ward and the Cumberland Valley Regional Board of Ethics for their review.
Information from: The Daily News, http://www.middlesborodailynews.com