FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Three property valuation administrators have been ordered to pay fines for hiring family members to work in their offices.

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission ordered Leslie County PVA James Wooten and Taylor County PVA Julie Shields to pay $4,000 each. Laurel County PVA Joyce Parker must pay $2,000.

The Ethics Commission considers locally elected PVAs to be state officials, making them subject to the state ethics code. That contention ended up in a prolonged legal fight.

The charges against the PVA's had initially been dismissed in 2009 by a trial court judge who ruled PVA's aren't subject to the ethics panel. That ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeals.

Under the state ethics code, state officials can't use their positions to obtain financial gain for family members. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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