A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arraignment Of Nurse Who Stole Prescription Drugs From Nursing Home Patients
Nurse's Aide Stole Narcotic Medication Intended for Nursing Home Resident, Consumed Drugs During Shifts
Schneiderman: My Office Won’t Allow Medical Professionals To Ignore Responsibilities To Patients For Personal Gain
UTICA – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arraignment of Erin Marra, 30, a Licensed Practical Nurse, on charges that shestole narcotic medications prescribed to the residents of the nursing homes at which she worked. Marra is also charged with altering records to indicate the stolen medications had been correctly administered. Marra was arraigned in Rome City Court today on three counts each of Falsifying Business records in the First Degree, Petit Larceny, Criminal Possession of a Controlled substance in the Seventh Degree, Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person and Willful Violation of Health Laws. If convicted, Marra faces up to four years in prison.
“My office will not allow nurses to use their position and access to prescription narcotics for their own personal gain, especially when it endangers those who are in their care,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Medical professionals have an obligation to properly care for their patients and must be held accountable when they ignore their responsibilities to our most vulnerable citizens in nursing homes.”
Marra was employed as the med nurse of three local nursing homes in Rome: Bethany Gardens Skilled Living Center at 800 West Chestnut Street; Betsy Ross Rehabilitation Center, at 1 Elsie Street; and Colonial Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, at 950 Floyd Avenue. Marra’sduties included administering narcotics and other medication to residents. Marra allegedly took the prescription drugs intended for her patients andconsumed them herself either during her shift or after. Most of the medications were prescribed to be administered to residents on an as needed basis. Marra covered for the theft by indicating in patient records that the medication had been administered, when in fact it had been stolen.
Although there were no specific reports of resident harm due to Marra’s theft, there was a substantial risk posed to patients, as the accurate recording of the administration of narcotics is an important tool used to gauge the severity of a resident’s pain both before and after the medication is administered. Falsifying or omitting information not only causes potential physical suffering but may also cause incorrect future diagnosis and treatment.
The charges include three counts of a class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison or five years probation, and multiple misdemeanors which are punishable by up to one year in local jail or three years probation.
The charges against Marra are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Paul R. Berry of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, under the supervision of Special Deputy Attorney General Monica Hickey-Martin and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.The investigation was conducted by Special Investigator Keith Hall, under the supervision of Regional Director Ralph D. Tortora, III.