Registered Nurse Charged With Stealing Narcotic Patches From Elderly Patients At Rensselaer County Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a registered nurse employed at a Troy nursing home for only a month has been charged with stealing powerful narcotic patches that had been prescribed for three elderly female patients - including one who is terminally ill. The incidents took place in November.

Victoria M. Glaser, a registered nurse at the Van Rensselaer Manor Skilled Nursing Facility, has been charged in a 24-count indictment with five counts of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, seven counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, five counts of Wilful Violation of Health Laws, five counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Physically Disabled Person, and two counts of Petit Larceny. If convicted, she faces up to four years in prison.

"Every day, patients in nursing homes put their lives and trust in the hands of nurses and other professional health care staff," said Spitzer. "For this employee to betray her sworn duty by stealing patients' pain medication is offensive and inexcusable."

According to prosecutors, Glaser, while working at the Van Rensselaer Manor between November 3rd and 19th, entered the room of a 75-year-old patient suffering from end-stage cancer and removed the patient's prescribed patch containing the powerful pain-killing medication, Fentanyl, on three separate occasions.

Glaser has also been charged with removing Fentanyl patches that had been applied to two other patients - an 85-year-old patient suffering from osteoporosis and a fractured pelvis, and a 77-year-old patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and a fractured right hip.

In addition, Glaser is accused of removing from a medication cart two Fentanyl patches that had been prescribed for the 85-year-old patient.

The Attorney General thanked the State Department of Health's (DOH) Office of Health Systems Management for referring the matter to his office. He also thanked DOH's Bureau of Controlled Substances, the Office of Rensselaer County District Attorney Kenneth J. Bruno, and the administration and staff of Van Rensselaer Manor for their assistance and cooperation in the investigation.

Glaser, 38, of 1612 Third Street in Rensselaer, has been licensed as a registered nurse in New York State since July 2000. She was employed by Van Rensselaer Manor, a 362-bed county-run facility located at 85 Bloomingrove Drive in Troy, from October 16 to November 19, 2000, when she was terminated as the result of these incidents. She was arraigned today in Rensselaer County Court before Judge Patrick J. McGrath.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Michael C. Clarke, of the Albany Regional Office of Attorney General Spitzer's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.

The charges against Glaser are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.