The former director of the Bledsoe County Ambulance Service took at least $2,500 worth of Morphine and Demerol during an 18-month period, according to a report released Monday by the Comptroller’s office.
Due to inadequate inventory records, the actual amount of missing drugs may have been greater, according to the report.
The Comptroller’s Division of Investigations, along with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, launched an inquiry after receiving a report of excessive purchases of controlled substances by the ambulance service.
The Comptroller’s investigators reviewed purchase and use records for controlled substances for the period from Nov. 1, 2011 through April 30 of this year to determine usage by the ambulance service. Investigators noted there were no records of beginning on hand balances on county ambulances for the controlled substances in question starting in November 2011. Therefore, the actual shortage may have been greater.
The Comptroller’s report details how the former ambulance service director forged the signature of the county medical director on Drug Enforcement Administration order forms on at least 17 occasions. Those forms were presented to pharmacies for purchases billed to Bledsoe County.
The former ambulance service director resigned earlier this year after he admitted to using controlled substances purchased by Bledsoe County Ambulance Service under the forged signature of the medical director.
“I want to commend our investigators and those from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for their work on this case,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “People should not abuse positions of public trust. That is certainly true of people who have access to public money – and it is also true of people who have access to controlled substances.”
The results of the investigation have been reported to the local district attorney. As a matter of policy, the Comptroller’s office does not identify individuals who haven’t yet been charged with a crime.
To view the report online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/.
To report suspected cases of fraud, waste or abuse of public funds in Tennessee, call 800 232-5454 or file a report online at http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/shared/safwa.asp.