A Fridley woman has been charged with stealing a powerful pain medication from the Twin Cities hospital where she worked as an emergency room nurse.
Kelly Ann Edwards, 36, is charged with theft of a controlled substance, a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint signed by Hennepin County Sheriff’s Detective Scott Hall, a security investigator at Hennepin County Medical Center contacted the sheriff’s office about suspicious behavior by a nurse involving narcotic pain medications.
The investigator said Edwards was dispensing a much greater amount than normal of Dilaudid.
On Sept. 26, Edwards was working in the HCMC emergency room and collected some Dilaudid for a patient being cared for by another nurse, according to the complaint.
Records from the hospital’s medication storage system showed that she disposed of, or “wasted,” the medication about two minutes after she removed it from storage; however, a detective reviewed surveillance video which showed Edwards pocketing the syringe of Dilaudid and disposing of the contents of a second syringe that she removed from her pocket, the complaint said.
Investigators interviewed Edwards, who admitted that she had been diverting Dilaudid from HCMC patients, according to the complaint. She admitted that she had taken medication intended for HCMC patients about six times in the last few months, and that she did so because she was “in pain,” the complaint said.
Edwards has been released from custody on a $10,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in her case is scheduled Nov. 13 in Hennepin County District Court.