According to the initiating order and formal complaint made by the commission, probable cause was found to allege that Wooten, along with the other 11 PVAs, violated KRS 11A.0202(1)(c) by using their official positions or offices to obtain financial gain for a member of their family.
Wooten, who took office in December 2006, said she has committed no violation of the nepotism rules by allowing her son to continue to work at the PVA office, where he was hired in July 2001 by former PVA Jerry Blanton.
The commission contends that Wooten committed the violation when she promoted her son, Derrick Wooten, on two occasions within the Harlan County PVA office.
Wooten said during an interview earlier this week that she had no idea why she had been named in the investigation other than the fact that she did promote her son. However, she claimed that she had no actual knowledge that was the reason for her being named in the motion and thought that it was because she had allowed her son to continue with his employment at the office.
The formal complaint states that the commission voted for the administrative proceeding on Sept. 26, but Wooten claims she had not heard anything from the commission or anything about the investigation since January.
When interviewed on Sunday, Wooten said that she had not been contacted directly by anyone informing her of these allegations.
“I have not heard anything about this for way over six months. It was in January of this year when I last heard anything about this, so I don’t really know what I am being accused of,” said Wooten on Sunday. “I know that I did not violate any rules because he was already working there when I took office, and I don’t think I was supposed to dismiss him just because he is my son.”
Wooten also noted that if the allegations were concerning the fact that she had promoted her son, that was not a violation of any rules.
“Everyone in that office was moved up, and I could not avoid moving my son up also just because he is my son,” said Wooten. “Therefore, I can’t believe that would be what they are alleging that I did wrong.”
The motion filed on behalf of the PVAs requests that a judge hold the commission in contempt because they allege there is no specific statute that allows the commission to investigate personnel matters. The PVAs are asking that the motion against them be dismissed.