Nurse charged in drug theft

Nurse charged in drug theft

JUNEAU -- A 39-year-old registered nurse was charged Wednesday with intentionally abusing residents-causing bodily harm for taking prescription opiates issued to Watertown nursing home residents.

If convicted of the charge, Melanie J. Hunter of Watertown faces a $10,000 fine and six years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Hunter, who was working at Dycora Transitional Health at 121 Hospital Drive, the facility's administrator called Watertown police March 17 and gave them three 2-milligram hydromorphone tablets, a Schedule II narcotic in Wisconsin. The owner also told officers she had "issues" with Hunter in the past. She told officers Hunter was not allowed to handle any medication at work. The pills were listed prescribed to a nursing home resident, but Hunter had them with her when confronted about being in the medication room, the criminal complaint states.

Hunter told investigating officers she gave the medication to the patient and even wrote it in the "medication checkout book," according to the complaint.

The residents at the nursing home told police Hunter would often give them wrong medicine than what was prescribed to them.

Hunter told a Dycora staff member she had stolen approximately one to two pills an evening from the nursing home residents or about 10 pills per week since August 2018. Hunter admitted to giving Claritin, an over-the counter allergy medicine, to the patients rather than their prescribed oxycodone pills, the complaint states.

Hunter's initial appearance in Dodge County Circuit Court is scheduled for July 29.

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