A onetime Mayo Clinic surgical nurse who stole a powerful narcotic for many months and injected herself while on duty has been sentenced to five years of supervised probation.
Connie K. Stier, 60, who no longer works for Mayo and whose license has been suspended, was sentenced Monday in Olmsted County District Court.
Her sentence requires her to receive counseling, submit to random drug testing, and not enter bars or liquor stores.
Stier, of Chatfield, Minn., pleaded guilty in May to fifth-degree drug possession, but that conviction could come off her record if she abides by the terms of the probation.
An internal Mayo investigation in June 2014 tripped up Stier, who by her own admission had been stealing fentanyl numerous times during every shift she worked for about a year. However, she continued, she only stole the “waste product” and did not deny any patients their pain-relieving medication.
Fentanyl is a potent narcotic painkiller used to supplement general anesthesia or treat long-term or chronic pain. The opium-based medication is seldom used outside of hospitals because it is powerful and fast-acting. It’s considered 80 times stronger than morphine, is highly addictive and can be fatal when abused.
Stier said she had been stealing fentanyl for about a year, and in the last half of that period was injecting the drug while at work “five to six times during her 12-hour shift,” according to the criminal complaint.
Mayo personnel searched her locker and found numerous syringes and blank fentanyl labels, the complaint said.