"I am very happy that it is finally over with and the Putnam County Health Department Board of Health has agreed not to appeal Judge Bloom's decision," Koblinsky said. "I believe they are attempting to make things right now, and that they realize that I was a victim."
Barney represented Koblinsky in Circuit Court, as her union representative was not an attorney. 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, Koblinsky is also entitled to a year of back pay, about $25,000. Koblinsky said she plans to seek unemployment benefits.
"I would love to have my job back at this point, if not working for the Putnam County Health Department, perhaps working in Putnam County for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department," Koblinsky said.
"I always viewed my job as that of a public servant. I enjoyed educating and working with the public during my inspections. I always explained to them why the food safety rules were important and worked with them on how to correct problems.
"I believe people have to want to change their behavior and that cannot happen if the health department is viewed as the enemy. People always need to be treated with respect and dignity, and that is something that I didn't see happening under the past administration, and that is what I stood against."
Attorney fees for the appeal are chief among the causes officials cite for the health department's recent financial turmoil. Faced with stacks of unpaid bills, board of health members voted in June to lay off the entire staff and contract services through the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
Putnam County Commission President Joe Haynes said former administrator Jackie Fleshman paid the attorney fees to fight Koblinsky's appeal before any other payments — including rent for the health department's headquarters.
He said the fees "got completely out of hand before the board was aware of it." The health department ended the fiscal year 2013 more than $400,000 in debt.
Lolita Kirk, administrator at the Putnam County Health Department, declined to comment on the situation because it is a personnel matter.