Goodland Woman Charged With Theft Of A Controlled Substance
A 46-year-old Goodland woman has been charged with seven counts of felony Theft of a Controlled Substance and one gross misdemeanor count of Mistreatment of a Resident or Patient.
According to the Itasca County Attorney’s Office, Kimberly Ann Korpi was charged in Itasca County on Monday. Nov. 4. The criminal complaint states that on July 19, 2018, Sergeant Bob Stein of the Grand Rapids Police Department became involved in an investigation regarding numerous missing narcotic medications at the Majestic Pines senior living Facility in Itasca County. Sergeant Stein learned that the living facility’s management was also conducting an internal investigation into the missing medication. It was initiated on July 18, 2018 after two Licensed Practical Nurses approached Majestic Pines Executive Director to discuss their concerns that the Director of Nursing, Korpi was placing certain patient narcotic medications in an “overflow” in her office. They provided Executive Director J.J.W with narcotic medication log sheets to corroborate their concerns
According to the release, the pills that went to the overflow were never being returned to the patient’s active medication supply. The two Licensed Practical Nurses M.J.E. and M.K.B., indicated that nursing staff started becoming concerned about irregularities with patient medications during the Fall of 2017.
According to the criminal complaint, nursing staff noted that from winter of 2017/ 2018 into the summer of 2018, patients were running short of narcotic medications frequently. Nursing staff further indicated that when they would contact Korpi to obtain the patients medications which should have been in the overflow cabinet in her office, Korpi would often come up with excuses as to why she could not access the cabinet or would be unwilling to come into the office on nights or weekends to get patients narcotic medications out of the overflow cabinet for them.
According to the complaint, it was noted that Korpi would occasionally be present in her office at Majestic Pines on nights or weekends outside of her normal working hours. The two Licensed Practical Nurses M.J.E. and M.K.B indicated that they and other staff members had been reluctant to come forward and tell management because management at the facility was a “tight-knit group” and the LPN and other staff were concerned about retaliation and losing their jobs.
J.J.W contacted C.J.D., nurse consultant with Progressive Care (a parent company that owns Majestic Pines) who contacted Korpi on July 18, 2018 and asked to see the overflow cabinet in her office.
Korpi opened the bottom drawer of a file cabinet to show C.J.D. where the overflow narcotic medications were kept, after Korpi used her keys to open a locked bottom drawer of the file cabinet, C.J.D. observed approximately 5 blister pack cards of medication with a piece of paper wrapped around them, according to the criminal complaint. C.J.D. indicated that in the nursing world indicated that in the nursing world, medications in this condition are typically awaiting destruction. C.J.D. then asked Korpi where the overflow medications were located, at which time Korpi stated something to the effect of “there aren’t any.” C.J.D. noted that there were very few medications in the overflow drawer, though a specific inventory of the drawer was not conducted at that time. Shortly after Korpi opened the overflow drawer, R.L. called C.J.D. and told her that because Korpi was a suspect in the disappearance of the narcotics, Korpi could not be a part of the investigation into the missing medications.
The criminal complaint said, C.J.D. then accompanied Korpi back to the private dining area where J.J.W., K.J.B. and R.L. were located. Following a short discussion, it was determined that Korpi would be sent home for the day. She was advised to leave her office door open and the overflow drawer to the file cabinet in her office open. Korpi was then excused from the presence of the Majestic Pines management personnel and allowed to leave the facility of her own accord. The criminal complaint notes that that Korpi retained possession of her keys when she left the facility. The criminal complaints also notes that none of the preceding individuals were aware of the fact that Korpi had implemented an overflow system/procedure for storing narcotic medications.
According to information received from the L.P.N.s, Korpi had initiated the overflow narcotic storage system/procedures during the fall of 2017. Korpi’s policy specified that in the event a patient received narcotic pain medications in a quantity above 90 pills, the excess pills would be placed in the overflow so that the nurses would not have as many medications to count on a regular basis.
According to the criminal, it should be noted that patient narcotic medications were counted at least two times per day at the Majestic Pines. Line staff (L.P.N.s, Lead Nurses and Home Health Aides) typically worked 12-hour shifts. The narcotic pill counts were conducted by one member of the staff just starting their 12-hour shift and one member of the staff just concluding their 12-hour shift, with at least one of the counters being an L.P.N. Prior to implementation of the overflow system, all narcotic medications were stored in locked cabinets in the nursing office under view of a camera to monitor the handling of the medications.
A follow up investigation was conducted by upper management between July 18, 2018 and July 23, 2018. On July 23, 2018 Korpi was terminated as director of nursing at the facility, according to the criminal complaint.
During the course of the internal investigation, narcotic pill documentation reflected that between October 6, 2017 and July 18, 2018, Korpi personally placed 1,259 narcotic pills into the overflow cabinet in her office, but returned only 55 narcotic pills to patients’ active medication counts/supplies in the narcotics cabinet in the nursing office and the identifying tabs from the missing medications were recovered from random locations in Korpi’s desk drawer, not from a single location.
According to the criminal complaint, during Sergeant Stein’s investigation at Majestic Pines, he interviewed virtually all of the staff persons who had contact with the narcotic medications including the L.P.N.s, lead nurses and home health aides. Virtually all of them indicated that it might be possible for someone in one of their positions to abscond from the facility with a small number of pills for a short time. All staff persons basically agreed that due to the rigorous procedures involving counting narcotic medications and working different shifts with different personnel on a rotating basis, it would be impossible for anyone in their respective positions to cover up the theft of even a small quantity of pills for any significant amount of time. Virtually all of the staff persons interviewed indicated that the only individual with the access to the narcotic pills and lack of checks and balances to monitor her actions Korpi. Virtually all of the staff members interviewed indicated that Korpi was the only realistic suspect who could have taken the narcotic pills. Some of the staff members further indicated that at times, when a patient was out of narcotic medications, Korpi would instruct them to borrow a pill from another patient or provide the patient with a non-narcotic medication and tell the patient that it was their prescribed medication. Staff indicated that Korpi would do this when patients were out of their narcotic medications over a weekend or at times when Korpi could not or would not return to Majestic Pines to access the overflow to get the patient their narcotic medication.
Sergeant Stein emphasized that he was trying to find out the truth about what had happened to the pills. He also became aware that issues had also arisen with management of narcotic pills at Korpi’s former place of employment, River Grand. At the request of Sergeant Stein, River Grand staff conducted an audit of their narcotic pill sheets during the time Korpi was there. The audit revealed that between March 2, 2017 and April 19, 2017, there were numerous irregularities in the narcotic sheets at the River Grand facility and approximately 110 narcotic pills went missing from the overflow managed by Korpi at River Grand, according to the criminal complaint.
During Korpi’s first court appearance the court imposed conditions including no contact with both residential facilities. Her next court appearance is set January 6, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.