Nurse arrested, accused of stealing meds from patients

Robert W. Robertson / photo: NYSP

A nurse at a local hospital spent the night in jail after police say he was taking medication from his patients.

According to State Police, 59-year-old Robert W. Robertson of Bufflehead Lane in Clay was arrested Wednesday, accused of stealing drugs from St. Joseph TMs Hospital in Syracuse, where he works. Police say Robertson, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), was diverting Dilaudid/Hydromorphone from the automated intravenous dispensing system of patients on his floor.

CNY Central has learned that clinicians noticed discrepencies, prompting the hospital to launch an investigation. They then turned that information over to state police. Kerri Ganci, Public Information Officer for St. Joseph's Hospital, says no patients were harmed. Ganci tells CNY Central it's an example of policies working well. She refused to discuss any employee discliplinary actions and says the investigation is on-going.

Authorities say they're still not sure what Robertson was doing with the drugs, as he refused to speak with investigators.

Hydromorphone is a powerful narcotic painkiller along the lines of morphine, or even heroin. Dialudid is one of the many brand names the drug is marketed under.

Robertson is charged with one count of felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, and one count of felony falsifying business records. He was held in the Onondaga County Justice Center pending arraignment Thursday.

Police say the State Department of Health TMs Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation contributed to Robertson TMs arrest.