Regions employee charged with stealing pain meds for personal use

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 16, 2014 - 11:15 AM

A Regions Hospital employee allegedly used her electronic work card and a fingerprint scan to access and steal prescription drugs 29 times from a secure location, according to charges filed Wednesday.

Maia E. Monette, 29, of Mahtomedi was charged in Ramsey County District Court with two counts of theft of a controlled substance for alleged crimes committed in 2012.

According to the complaint: The hospital initiated an investigation and found discrepancies of missing hydromorphone, a derivative of morphine that can be habit-forming, under Monette’s name. She allegedly removed the drug on 29 separate occasions between Oct. 16, 2012 and Nov. 12, 2012.

Monette removed the drugs under the names of patients who had been discharged from the emergency room, according to the charges. The patients had not been prescribed the drug, a pain reliever that comes in pill and liquid forms.

Several incidents allegedly occurred when Monette was not scheduled to work, the complaint said. In a Nov. 11, 2012 incident, Monette used her swipe card to enter the emergency department and then accessed a machine that dispenses medication by scanning her fingerprint.

She spoke with officials at the hospital in November and allegedly admitted to taking the drugs for personal use.

No patients were harmed or deprived of pain management because of Monette’s alleged actions, the complaint said.

Regions Hospital spokesman Vince Rivard said that Monette was a former nurse, and that he could not address further questions due to employment laws. She was charged via summons, meaning she was not arrested.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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