CLEARFIELD – A Brockway woman accused of taking drugs from a nursing home has pleaded guilty in Clearfield County Court.
Francene P. Galentine, 37, of 61 Beechton Dr., Brockway, pleaded guilty to acquiring or obtaining possession of controlled substance by misrepresentation, possession of a controlled substance and theft by unlawful taking.
She was sentenced by Judge Paul E. Cherry to 90 days to one year in jail and two years consecutive probation. She was also ordered to complete drug and alcohol counseling. She was fined $500 plus costs and must pay restitution of more than $1,900.
Prior to sentencing, her attorney, Richard Milgrub, stated that she is very remorseful. He asked if she could serve her sentence on home detention because of a family problem.
Cherry said it is the court’s policy that the defendant serves a period of incarceration in employee theft cases. But he agreed for Galentine to serve her sentence two days a week to allow her to be with her family the rest of the week. She is also eligible for part of her sentence to be on home detention.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Sept. 9, authorities began to investigate the possible illegal acquisition of 80 hydrocodone/acetaminophen tablets from the Golden Years Personal Care Home in DuBois. The investigation revealed that a resident who had been prescribed the medication seldom took it. A doctor told Galentine who was working as a licensed practical nurse at the home, to discontinue the prescription.
Galentine informed the administrator that she had followed the home’s policy for destroying the tablets by placing them into moistened coffee grounds and discarding them into a container.
Galentine failed to have the destruction witnessed as is required by policy. When the administrator realized the destruction had been unwitnessed, she inspected the coffee grounds and was unable to see any evidence of the medications.
During an interview with a narcotics agent from the attorney general’s office, Galentine admitted she had not destroyed the medication as she had reported. Instead she removed the tablets and took them home.