A certified registered nurse practitioner formerly employed with the Bradford Medicor office has been charged with illegally prescribing oxycodone and methadone after her employment ended.
Darlene Venezia-Skaggs, 53, of 3789 Route 59, is charged in two cases — first, with five counts of illegally prescribing controlled substances; four counts of delivery of oxycodone; and one count of delivery of methadone, all felony offenses.
According to court records, Skaggs had been employed as a certified registered nurse practitioner at Medicor Associates at 51 Boylston St. in Bradford, under a collaborative agreement with cardiologist Dr. Steven Herrmann. She was terminated on March 7 from her employment with Medicor, and therefore was no longer authorized to write prescriptions.
However, she left behind her prescription pad with five signed prescriptions “for people who were due narcotics halfway through the month,” according to court records. She told an investigator from the Attorney General’s office that she couldn’t “shut people off because they will have withdrawals.”
When asked why she didn’t contact Medicor to see how they could handle the patients after her departure, she said she should have, but added that Herrmann “would rarely write controlled prescriptions,” the court records read.
She told the investigator the prescriptions “were being faxed by others with her signature on them.” The investigator spoke to a nurse in the office, who confirmed that she had provided five prescriptions for Skaggs’ former patients after Skaggs had been terminated, using the signed prescriptions Skaggs had left behind.
The patients were given the following amounts: a woman given 150 15mg oxycodone tablets; a man given 120 30mg oxycodone tablets; a man given 120 30mg oxycodone tablets; a man given 180 10mg methadone tablets; and a man given 100 20mg oxycodone tablets, according to court records.
The investigator spoke to Herrmann also, who said he had no knowledge of Skaggs’ actions, nor did he authorize her to continue writing prescriptions after her termination. He indicated it was not standard practice for the office, and he did not authorize the nurses to fill out prescriptions pre-signed by Skaggs, the records read.
Skaggs was arraigned Friday before District Judge Dom Cercone on those charges, and released on $15,000 unsecured bail.
In the second case, she is charged with writing two prescriptions for a patient at her residence, and then meeting him and giving him the prescriptions. He was given 120 30mg oxycodone with one refill, the court records read. After her termination, she was no longer authorized to write prescriptions.
In that case, she was arraigned before District Judge David Engman and released on $15,000 unsecured bail.
She is scheduled for Central Court on Thursday.
Reached for comment late Friday, Medicor Practice Administrator Valarie Jackson said only that Skaggs’ “departure from Medicor was not related to this incident. Medicor was contacted once the investigation was underway and we cooperated fully with the authorities.”