In February, Gonzalez hired Adam Gianato as a full-time state worker assigned to inspect the wireless towers.
Gianato works from his home in McDowell County. His $37,500 salary is paid entirely by the stimulus funds that his father administers. The federal grant funds also has paid for a rental truck that Gianato drives to tower sites in Southern West Virginia.
Jimmy Gianato did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Last week, Gianato said he did not ask Gonzalez or Alexander Utility Engineering executives to hire his son.
Gianato said he never checked back with the NTIA or the Ethics Commission after his son left his job with the engineering firm and became a state employee assigned to the tower project. Gianato said he did not notify anyone in Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office that his son was being paid out of the stimulus funds.
Marsha Dadisman, a spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Services, said Gianato doesn't need to seek a follow-up opinion from the Ethics Commission.
"The commission determined there was not a conflict of interest to hire Adam as a contractor," Dadisman said Wednesday. "When he was hired as a state employee, appropriately following all Division of Personnel rules, his pattern of supervision or the lines of authority did not change. There was not an ethics issue when he became a state employee."
As the $126.3 million project's "grant administrator," Gianato has the final say on the use of the stimulus funds, including hiring and spending decisions.
The Ethics Commission issues advisory opinions and informal advice to public officials about the state Ethics Act. Gianato solicited informal advice, not an advisory opinion.
The Ethics Commission board votes on advisory opinions, and they're released publicly. Informal ethics advice is typically kept confidential.
Gianato authorized the release of Kirk's email Wednesday at the Gazette's request.
Alexander Utility Engineering billed the state $60 an hour for Adam Gianato's work -- and $90 for overtime, but the firm's invoices don't show exactly how much they paid Gianato. Contractors typically bill for a significantly higher amount than the firms actually pay their employees. Jimmy Gianato has said he didn't know how much his son earned as a contract worker for the engineering firm.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.