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Published: Saturday, 3/29/2014 - Updated: 8 months ago

Several nurses charged in theft of prescription drugs

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Nine area nurses have been indicted by a Lucas County grand jury on charges they stole prescription drugs from their employers.

Charged with one count each of theft of drugs, a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison, are:

*Janet Luginbuhl, 48, of 3506 Leybourn Ave., a licensed practical nurse who was employed at Swanton Health Care and Retirement Center.

*Ceara Barta, 32, of Wyandotte, Mich., a registered nurse who was employed at Regency Hospital.

*Rachel Sexton, 27, of 5070 Breezeway Dr., an LPN who was employed at Arbors at Sylvania.

*John Rafey, 42, of 2248 Dunham St., an RN who was employed at Mercy St. Charles Hospital.

*Vicki Rhodus, 29, of 3714 Kershaw Ave., an RN who was employed at ProMedica Toledo Hospital.

*Sheri Myers, 40, of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., an RN who was employed at the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio Hospital.

*Kimberly Mehki, 37, of Lambertville, an LPN who worked at Heatherdowns Rehabilitation and Residential Center.

*Margaret Isabell, 37, of 3330 Indian Rd., an RN who was employed at Regency Hospital.

*Trisha Pirkle, 45, of 4810 Westcliffe Ct., Sylvania, an RN who was employed at ProMedica Flower Hospital.

While a felony conviction would prompt the Ohio Board of Nursing to take disciplinary action against the licensed nurses, records show that the board already has cited five of the defendants for nursing-practice violations that could result in license revocation or other discipline. Board of Nursing records show:

Mr. Rafey, whose license expired Sept. 1, was cited for failing to document or account for medications removed from a dispenser at Mercy St. Charles Hospital in December, 2012.

Ms. Rhodus, whose license currently is active, was cited for failing to document the administration of narcotics removed from a dispenser at ProMedica Toledo Hospital in August, 2012.

Ms. Myers, whose license is active, failed to account for the disposition of narcotics, removed narcotics without an order, and documented administering narcotics sooner than ordered at UTMC in November and December, 2012.

Ms. Mehki, whose license is inactive, was cited for failing to document the administration of narcotics she had documented as withdrawing at Heatherdowns Rehabilitation and Residential Center on multiple occasions in October, November, and December, 2012.

Ms. Isabell, whose license is inactive, was cited for removing medications outside doctor’s orders and failing to document the medications withdrawn at Regency Hospital in April, May, and July, 2012, and for a July 2, 2012 incident at work in which she was confused and kept falling asleep.

While all five were given the opportunity for hearings before the board takes action, only Ms. Rhodus, Ms. Meyers, and Mr. Rafey have requested hearings, according to Holly Fischer, general counsel for the Board of Nursing.



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