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Nurse sentenced for stealing painkiller tablets

September 21, 2000

Nurse sentenced for stealing painkiller tablets



By JULIE E. GREENE / Staff Writer


A registered nurse who pleaded guilty to stealing seven narcotic painkiller tablets meant for patients was given probation before judgment in Washington County District Court Thursday.

Judge R. Noel Spence placed Barbara Jean Tingle, 50, of 18304 Woodside Drive in Hagerstown, on supervised probation for one year and ordered her to submit to drug testing.

Spence suspended half of a $500 fine.

Tingle pleaded guilty July 20 to misdemeanor theft.

Tingle had worked at Washington County Hospital's birthing center for 30 years when she was charged on April 18 with misdemeanor theft and prescription fraud.

Hospital officials launched an internal investigation in early February when discrepancies showed up in the counts of Percocet tablets dispensed and actually given to patients, court records state.

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Several post-partum patients weren't given any or only half of their dosage, court records state.

Tingle was fired on Feb. 7 and had tested positive for Percocet, according to court records.

Defense Attorney Kelly Clopper said Tingle has been participating in a drug and alcohol treatment program through the Washington County Health System since March 24.

Tingle returned to work at the hospital last March, at first working in an area where she was not allowed to dispense medication, court records state.

Now Tingle is allowed to give out certain medications, Clopper said.

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