The administrator for the Putnam County Health Department said there isn't a job available for the former sanitarian who was ordered to be reinstated to her former position.
Lolita Kirk was appointed to the administrator position in June to iron out financial issues with the agency. Kirk also is the director of administration at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, a position she has held for seven years.
"The agency is not open. There's nothing to be reinstated. When you're reinstated through the Division of Personnel, it's for the same position that you held before," Kirk said. "The agency closed, and there's no position to return to."
Barbara Koblinsky, 52, was first fired in February 2010 after about two years with the health department for insubordination after refusing to meet with former administrator Jackie Fleshman at the time without a union representative present.
"I intend and expect the Putnam County Health Department will follow the court's order to give me my job back," Koblinksy said.
She filed a grievance and won her job back in late 2010, but the health department's administration appealed the ruling in Circuit Court, where the case remained until recently. Circuit Court Judge Duke Bloom reinstated Koblinsky to her former position.
Gordon Simmons, Koblinsky's representative with the West Virginia Public Workers Union, said in typical wrongful termination cases, the employee is reinstated.
In Bloom's order, Koblinksy is also entitled to a year of back pay, about $25,000.
Kirk isn't sure whether the Putnam County Board of Health will appeal the Bloom's ruling to the state Supreme Court.
"They will have to discuss and decide what they're going to do as a board, since they decided as a board to appeal the decision," Kirk said. "They will have to decide what action they want to take and whether they choose to pursue it or not -- it's up to them."
As a sanitarian, it was Koblinsky's job to enforce the county's rabies policy, which was considerably stricter than those in other counties.
She claimed the policy resulted in the unnecessary deaths of several county residents' beloved pets and started a petition for the County Commission to remove it. She said her work against the policy eventually cost her the job, despite working on the petition as a citizen and not during her time with the health department. Health department officials have said repeatedly she was fired for insubordination.