The acting director of the state Division of Juvenile Services is reimbursed costs to travel, live and eat in Charleston.
The division is headquartered in Charleston. The person serving as acting director, Stephanie Bond, lives in Preston County.
Since taking on the role in late February, she's been reimbursed almost $5,500 by the state.
Officials could not immediately confirm whether all of that money was reimbursed to cover the expenses of living in Charleston or for other work-related costs.
"It appears to me that the state does allow public employees in certain circumstances to get help with such work-related expenses, with lodging and meals," said Lawrence Messina, spokesman for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.
Multiple attempts to contact Bond were unsuccessful.
Bond was appointed acting director in late February, a day after the department and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office decided to fire then-director Dale Humphreys.
The firing came in the midst of an ongoing lawsuit and significant changes within the division.
From 2004 until her appointment in February, Bond worked as superintendent of the Kenneth "Honey" Rubenstein Juvenile Center. The center is located in Davis, a city in Tucker County about 174 miles northeast of Charleston.
As acting director she earns an $80,000 salary. The salary for the director of the division is outlined in state law. Since Bond was appointed she's submitted 25 invoices totaling about $5,425, according to state records.
"Please realize that while she is acting director, she is still a director of the Rubenstein center," Messina said. "You might say she is on assignment."
Dan Dilly is listed as the acting superintendent at the Rubenstein center on the department's website. An employee who answered the phone late Friday said Bond no longer works at the center.
Although Bond might not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the center, she technically remains an employee of the center, Messina said. If and when a permanent director of the division is found, Bond would then return to her leadership role at the Rubenstein center, he explained.
"If named director, then that situation would change because those duties would require her to be at the Capitol," Messina said later in the interview.
In her role as acting director, Bond might need to travel to some of the many different juvenile justice facilities across the state, Messina said. Tomblin spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin agreed.
From 2008 to 2012, Humphreys was reimbursed a little more than $2,000 in expenses. Late Friday Messina and Goodwin did not immediately know how often a full-time director is expected to travel for work.
The governor thinks Bond has done a very good job under trying circumstances. Officially announcing a full-time director has taken a backseat to finding solutions to the division's numerous problems, Goodwin said.
In April of 2012, public interest law firm Mountain State Justice filed a lawsuit alleging widespread issues at the Industrial Home for Youth in Salem. The lawsuit alleged the facility, at the time the only maximum-security facility for juvenile offenders in the state, focused too much on punishment and not enough on rehabilitation.