RN Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession of Controlled Substances

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Registered Nurse Tamara Maxine Smith, of Mammoth Lakes, pleaded guilty this week to one misdemeanor count of illegally possessing controlled substances.

As part of Smith’s plea agreement with the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, four felony charges including embezzlement and obtaining controlled substances by fraud were dismissed.  Smith entered her guilty plea on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.

The plea was the result of an investigation led by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit’s Central Valley Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation on behalf of the Board of Registered Nursing.

The investigation was initiated after it was discovered that Smith, who worked as a registered nurse in the emergency department at Mammoth Hospital, had removed controlled substances, but failed to account for their disposition.

During August of 2013, Smith obtained controlled substances including Dilaudid, Fentanyl, Versed and ketamine, which were supposed to be administered to patients. However, Smith failed to account for disposition of these dangerous drugs.  The hospital requested that Smith submit to a drug screen and she was terminated after her test results returned positive for codeine, morphine and hydromorphone (Dilaudid).

Smith has a prior disciplinary history with the Board of Registered Nursing and previously received probation for writing fraudulent prescriptions to obtain narcotics for her own use.

The Board of Registered Nursing filed an accusation against Smith, which resulted in the surrender of her license effective July 27, 2015.

The accusation and decision can found at http://rn.ca.gov/public/rn348483.pdf.

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