Former nursing director sentenced for stealing pain medication

Many say sentence not strong enough

HONESDALE, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - The former nursing director of a surgery center in Wayne County is going to prison.

Karen Feldner was sentenced Thursday for stealing nearly 2,000 vials of fentanyl and even prompting a health scare.

Some people who heard about the case don't believe the punishment handed down was strong enough.

"I spoke in court," Feldner said leaving the Wayne County Courthouse.

The 57-year-old Honesdale woman will spend two months in jail followed by three months on house arrest after pleading guilty to theft charges.

Feldner admitted taking nearly 2,000 vials of fentanyl, a powerful pain medication, from the Mountain Laurel Surgery Center in Honesdale where she worked.

"That's a slap on the wrist, I mean, for the epidemic that's going on here with the heroin and the fentanyl, I mean that's nothing!" Joseph Voto of Hawley said.

After hearing about the sentence, many people don't think Feldner's punishment was strong enough.

"There's people that sit in prison for six to eight months, six to 12 months for simply graffiting on the walls!" Kelly McCormick of Beach Lake said.

Investigators say Feldner changed how fentanyl was delivered to the surgery center and forged signatures to hide her activity.

Besides stealing vials, detectives say others were tampered with, filled with a saline solution and given to some patients.

That prompted a health scare where some patients were notified and tested.

It appears no one was negatively impacted.

Given everything that happened, the judge in Wayne County told Feldner that her crime was not "victimless."

In court, Feldner apologized for what happened saying her addiction started years ago with cough medicine.

She said she never meant to hurt anyone but some members of the public say those words are too little, too late.

"You say that you didn't want to hurt them but you did and where was the thought process then?" McCormick said.

When Feldner is finished with her two months in jail and three months house arrest, she will also have to spend six years on a probationary program and do community service.

 


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