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Bob Bailey's daughter working for senior agency

Mar. 21, 2013 @ 11:30 PM

HUNTINGTON -- With a federal prison sentence behind her, a daughter of Cabell County Commissioner Bob Bailey now works for a local senior citizens' organization for which he serves as board chairman.

Robin Lee Bailey's employment has raised some concern, but officials receiving those complaints have been satisfied with her performance at the Cabell County Community Services Organization and said her duties present no conflict with an earlier crack cocaine conviction.

Former director Terry Cunningham contends she hired Robin Bailey in winter 2012 at Bob Bailey's direction through verbal orders given by her predecessor, Robert Roswall, now leader of the state's Bureau of Senior Services.

Roswall denied Cunningham's assertion Thursday, saying he does not recall being involved in a push to gain the commissioner's daughter employment. Bob Bailey did not return messages seeking comment.

Joan Parker, executive director of the state Ethics Commission, was unsure of CCCSO's structure and could not speak to specific allegations. In general, she said questions can arise if a public official involves himself in gaining his relative employment at a entity for which his office provides funding or oversight.

The Cabell County Commission appoints one person to the CCCSO Board of Directors and provides the stand-alone agency with funding through the county senior citizens' excess levy.

Commission President Nancy Cartmill said she received complaints and anonymous letters last year citing Robin Bailey's criminal record. That prompted her to inquire with Cunningham, who confirmed Robin Bailey's employment.

"(Cunningham) just told me that she was working on the computer, and that she was doing a good job," Cartmill said.

Cunningham and Vice Chairman Dolly Rozzi supported that assessment. Both praised her work with the agency's newsletter. Both described her role as a low-level position and expressed no concern with her limited access to client records.

Commissioner Anne Yon said she would inquire further as to Robin Bailey's current job description. Yon recently replaced Bob Bailey as the commission's appointee, a move that angered Bailey and led to Elks Lodge No. 313 naming him as their appointee to the CCCSO board. That allowed Bob Bailey to retain his role as chairman of the CCCSO board.

While Cunningham believes she had no choice in the hiring, she said the process involved a criminal background check that turned up information on Robin Bailey's past.

Robin Bailey pleaded guilty in May 2009 to having conspired to distribute at least five grams of crack cocaine. It led to a 3-year, 9-month prison sentence that she discharged in August 2012 after completing a residential drug abuse program and time at a halfway house, according to federal court and prison records.

Robin Bailey did not return a message seeking comment.

Follow Curtis Johnson via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD and http://facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD.

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