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Hiring of Kentucky Health Official's Husband Questioned

The hiring of a Kentucky cabinet official's husband has been questioned by critics who say the hiring represents a conflict of interest and a misuse of funds that could be better spent on helping overworked and underpaid social workers.

The Courier-Journal reports that Bob James, the husband of Teresa James, the commissioner of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services' social service agency, has been hired for the new role of assisting the cabinet's Inspector General's office.

Cabinet spokeswoman Jill Midkiff said in a statement that officials see no conflict in having Bob James work at the same cabinet as his wife.

Julie Denton, a former state senator from Louisville, says Bob James' $50,000 salary should instead be going toward fixing the problem of high turnover among state social workers.