COPY-Cass County collector cleared of nepotism

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Cass County Collector Pam Shipley has been cleared of violating state laws against nepotism.

County Auditor Ron Johnson accused Shipley of nepotism for promoting her cousin, Denise Goddard, to chief deputy and giving her a higher salary than the previous chief deputy.

The Kansas City Star reports ( ) Goddard worked in the collector's office before Shipley's election. State law permits a relative to stay in the job under those circumstances.

Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley said in a statement that Shipley asked the state before she took office whether her cousin could continue working there. She was told it was permitted because Goddard was hired by a previous county collector.

Hensley says any raise Goddard received was justified by her years of service in the office.

Information from: The Kansas City Star,

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