"The reason I didn't do it then because was with the way things were going on with Health, we wanted to make a more easy transition. We decided to hold that one up until this time, giving us six months."
Haynes said Skidmore attended meetings when he wasn't officially on the board so that he wouldn't have such a steep learning curve.
The department has about $215,000 in overdue debts. That doesn't include current obligations. Past-due notices are received every day.
Kirk said the County Commission gives the health department an allotment of $150,000 per year, which will most likely be used to pay the debt.
"As invoices come in, they will prioritize it and will cut checks," she said.
Kirk said an audit of a purchasing card and a two-year fiscal compliance audit from the West Virginia State Auditor's Office would be released at the end of July, at the earliest.
That audit will provide some accountability for the department's financial downfall.
Joel McKinney took over as administrator of the Putnam County Health Department in February after Fleshman resigned. McKinney was among those laid off.
Haynes said he never thought the legal fees would add up like they did.
"We all agreed to hire that attorney because we thought it was an open-and-shut thing. I don't think anybody on the board anticipated the costs would be that high. If we had known that they were mounting up like that, we would've pulled the plug."
Haynes regrets what happened, but says the trouble signs were harder to identify as they were occurring.
"When you have a board that's made up of volunteers - don't get paid, have their own jobs - they trust in what the administrator puts before them. Now, in hindsight, you say, 'Well we should've checked more closely.'
"Most committees like that trust in what the administrator tells them. There's fault all the way around. In hindsight, we shouldn't have hired an attorney. Hindsight is always 20 / 20," Haynes said.
He said the board faced a dilemma in 2010 when the owners of its headquarters planned to raise rent. The idea was to move to a larger space and expand clinical services, thereby bringing in more income.
"We brought a nurse practitioner on board. She left us after a few months . . . the clinical services never really did catch on; we didn't do that kind of business," he said.
"There are just too many competing entities in the private sectors - like urgent care facilities. People didn't think of the health department to come to for health services. The income never materialized like we thought it would."
Officials also have filed an application with the state Department of Health and Human Resources for $186,000 for expenses, but withdrew it when the state requested additional details just days before the deadline.
The largest chunk of unpaid bills is at least $80,000 for rent and "associated shared costs," according to officials.
Other unpaid expenses include at least $36,513 in vaccine costs; $18,000 in federal taxes; $8,570 in state taxes; and $4,513 to the state Office of Technology.
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