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Nurse admits she falsified business records to steal meds

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MASSENA - A woman employed as a registered nurse at Massena Memorial Hospital a year ago has admitted she falsified business records so she could steal drugs for her personal use.

April L. Lamberton, 32, of 37 Bishop Ave., Massena, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of second-degree falsifying business records. Acting Massena Village Justice James M. Crandall directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for March 30. He also ordered Lamberton to continue outpatient substance abuse treatment services pending sentencing.

The court had previously been told Lamberton had made significant strides since her arrest, had found new employment in the health care field and was doing well.

Village police had charged Lamberton with a felony count of first-degree falsifying business records and a misdemeanor charge of petit larceny on Jan. 25, 2012. Lamberton admitted she made false entries in the hospital records to conceal that she was removing drugs from the emergency room pharmacy for her personal use.

Lamberton, in a statement she provided to village police investigators, said she violated protocol and procedures and removed 2 milligrams of Dilaudid from the emergency room pharmacy shortly after reporting to work to begin her shift at 11 a.m. Jan. 25. Dilaudid, according to the National Institute of Health, is a Hydromorphone used to treat moderate to severe pain.

She said she went into the bathroom and injected the Dilaudid and then went back into the pharmacy and took 125 milligrams of Demerol in two doses.

“I was having major withdrawals from not having any narcotics because I had been off work for two days,” Lamberton said in her statement.

The registered nurse said she was confronted by the emergency room director a short time later.

Lamberton, in the statement she signed for police, admitted she had been taking drugs for her own use from the hospital pharmacy for the past six months.

She said she had started using Demerol and Dilaudid in the liquid form.

“I do not remember how it started, but I would sometimes take it home and use it instead of wasting it from a patient’s order from there. I guess it got out of hand,” according to the 10-year hospital employee.

Lamberton said sometimes she used her personal identification number to log into the medical dispenser system and take drugs without an order. Other times, she said, she rushed to the system right after another hospital employee had logged in and not logged out and dispensed medication for her own personal use.

“I am very sorry for what I have done. I did not realize I had such an addiction. I only started taking drugs to help me sleep at home. It then just got too easy and things got out of control. At no time did I ever withhold medications for my personal gain,” she said in her statement to police.

In other recent court action before Judge Crandall:

■ Kyle A. Hendershot, 24, of 190 Lake Ozonia Road, Hopkinton, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. The court directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Feb. 27.

Hendershot had been charged with a felony count of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated and was ticketed for failure to keep right, unreasonable speed and a seat belt violation following a personal injury accident at 1:08 a.m. Dec. 30 on state Route 420 in the town of Massena.

He submitted to a blood test and his blood alcohol content was not immediately available. He has a May 2009 drinking and driving conviction.

According to court documents, Hendershot told troopers he was simply trying to help out a friend.

“I know he was drinking all day. I don’t have a license to lose so I figured I would drive. I didn’t want him to lose his license if we got stopped or something like that,” the arresting officer quoted the Hopkinton man as telling him during the accident investigation.

■ Kacey C. Printup, 22, of 4 Lighthouse Road, Akwesasne, was fined $1,000 and a $205 surcharge and ordered to pay a $50 DNA fee after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

She had been picked up and jailed on a warrant with bail set at $25,000 cash on Jan. 2.

Printup had been found in possession of 38 Percoset pills during a secondary inspection Jan. 6, 2012 at the U.S. port of entry in Rooseveltown. The pills, valued at $160, were found in her pants pocket. She had been charged with a felony count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

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