CROSSVILLE – A former Cumberland County Emergency Medical Services supervisor stole at least 79 single dose vials of controlled substances for his own use, according to an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller, in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Investigators say Randy Lee Davidson took the vials of fentanyl and morphine – opioid pain relievers – from January 2015-August 2016.
Davidson falsified more than 50 controlled substance administration documents to make it appear the drugs had been used legitimately by other paramedics. Davidson acknowledged to investigators that he had taken the controlled substances for his own use.
Davidson resigned from Cumberland County EMS in August. In February, he was indicted by the Cumberland County Grand Jury on two counts of theft under $1,000, one count of official misconduct, and one count of forgery.
“Although this scheme was first identified by Cumberland County EMS, it went undetected for at least 20 months,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said in a release.
The Comptroller’s investigation revealed several deficiencies in the drug distribution processes that contributed to the misappropriation without nd timely detection. These process deficiencies included:
- In many instances, officials did not adequately review the primary document (the Controlled Substance Administration form) supervisors used for obtaining the pain relievers in question. The current form requires the signatures of the paramedic that administered the drug, a witness, and a supervisor. Some of the forms used to misappropriate narcotics included only the supervisor’s signature.
- Supervisors were able to obtain replacement controlled substances from inventory without proof that the drugs being replaced had been used. The supervisors were not required to turn in the empty vials of the drugs as evidence that the drugs had actually been administered.
- EMS officials did not maintain a perpetual inventory of controlled substances allowing officials to monitor, in real time, the use rate of all drugs in stock.
EMS officials have indicated they have corrected or intend to correct these deficiencies.
“I’m pleased to see that EMS officials are taking steps to review the forms that are used when controlled substances are administered,” Wilson added. “The signatures of the paramedic, supervisor and a witness should always be included.”
To view the investigation online, visit http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/.