A 30-year-old licensed practical nurse was arrested for allegedly stealing hydrocodone pills from the nursing home.
The woman started working at the nursing home roughly six weeks
prior to her arrest. To nursing home management she seemed like a good hire at the
time. They did a background check and found no red flags, but what they
didn't know was that another county's drug task force was monitoring
the woman. When she moved from that other county to the local area the drug
task force alerted the local sheriff's office. "As a result of
information they had provided to us we had her under surveillance,"
says the sheriff.
Both the police and
nursing home officials say no patients missed any doses of medicine as
a result of the woman's theft. "We think it was just access she had to the medications,"
explains the sheriff, "It was an attempt to cover it up by saying it
was given to other clients or patients in the nursing home to cover
The investigation came to a head when nursing
home officials say an undercover officer made contact with the nurse and made arrangements to meet for a drug buy right outside the nursing home. "(Officers) actually witnessed the drug sale of about 11 pills
in front of the nursing home," says the sheriff's office.
The nurse is
now facing a felony sale of narcotics charge as well as misdemeanors of
petit larceny and drug possession. Nursing home officials say they
fired her immediately since she was still under her probationary
period. The nursing home says this is an isolated incident,
they've never had a problem like this before, and patient care is their
first priority. The sheriff says his office and the state health
department are now doing a thorough review with the nursing home to see
if safeguards can be even tighter to prevent this type of thing from
happening again. For more, read the story.
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is
dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing
home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke,
Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.