LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, the new secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, remains an employee of the University of Louisville Foundation, a situation the state acknowledges could pose a conflict of interest.

The state released contracts Wednesday evening showing that instead of paying Glisson directly, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is reimbursing the U of L Foundation for her salary and benefits.

Before being named to the state post in December, Glisson, an attorney with healthcare expertise, had been CEO of Nucleus, the University of Louisville Foundation’s life sciences and economic development affiliate, since 2008.

The state agreed to pay the U of L Foundation up to $49,000 for Glisson’s full-time availability from Dec. 9 to Jan. 31, and $70,128 for the Feb. 1 through June 30 period, according to contracts obtained under the Kentucky Open Records Act. (View the contracts here.)

Steven Davis, chief of staff for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said in an email that the state is reimbursing U of L “at the salary and benefits rate for Cabinet Secretaries.”

It’s unclear whether Glisson is getting additional compensation or benefits from the foundation on top of the reimbursement from the state. At Nucleus, she had total compensation of $383,921 in 2013, according to the foundation’s latest IRS disclosure.

"(U of L) President (Jim) Ramsey is supportive of and approved the concept of Vickie serving as Secretary, and we are still working out the details of that arrangement,” U of L spokesman John Karman said in a prepared statement Wednesday. “We'll be making those details public as soon as they are final.”

The contracts between the state and the foundation say that Glisson will be expected to “recuse” herself and “abstain from any action on any matters before the Cabinet relating to the University of Louisville which may constitute a conflict of interest between (her) responsibility for Cabinet administration under this contract and their relationship with the University of Louisville.”

Jill Midkiff, a spokeswoman for the cabinet, said Wednesday that she would relay a reporter’s request to speak with Glisson.

There was no immediate explanation as to why the state’s rate of reimbursement is much higher for Glisson’s initial two months on the job than the five months beginning Feb. 1. The earlier amount, $49,000, is an “estimate only,” according to the contract.

The amounts include “fringe benefits of 27.99%,” according to the contracts.

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