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Former Nurse Pleads Guilty in Painkiller Theft

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IOWA CITY, Iowa - A former nurse at Mercy Iowa City accused of taking prescription painkillers intended for patients has pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 7.

Adam John Moander, 30, of North Liberty, was arrested in April 2011 on suspicion of 12 counts of prohibited acts, a felony, one count of tampering with records and felony dependent adult abuse.

Moander, who is free on bond, was scheduled to be tried on Tuesday, but court records show he entered a guilty plea Friday. The charges Moander pleaded guilty to and details about his stipulated sentence were not immediately available.

He was arrested last year on a warrant after authorities found evidence he removed Dilaudid from an electronic dispensing machine under the names of 12 patients who had been admitted to Mercy Iowa City for surgery in July and August 2009.

Moander was a nurse there at the time, but he was not the victims' nurse, and there is no documentation showing the drugs ever got to the intended patients, according to Iowa City police.

In one case, Moander was confronted by one of the patient's nurses, and Moander said he accidentally programmed the wrong patient name into the dispensing machine, according to a police report. Moander's patient at the time didn't have a prescription for Dilauded, but Moander explained the doctor called one in, police reported.

The doctor in charge at the time told investigators he doesn't remember making a call, and phone records from the floor do not show any such phone call, according to police.

The tampering with records charge stems from allegations Moander removed narcotics from the hospital's PYXIS machine under various patient names, causing hospital records to be wrong.

The criminal complaints do not say whether the patients were harmed in the alleged crime.

Moander does not have a significant criminal history in Iowa, although he does have an open lawsuit pending against him along with an open simple misdemeanor case.

One year after Moander was arrested, Rose Marie Hayslett, another Mercy Iowa City nurse was arrested on similar charges after investigators said she took narcotics from as many as 15 hospital patients.

Hayslett, 58, of Cedar Rapids, is accused of removing the drugs from the hospital's PYXIS machine and using the medication herself while charging patients a total of $1,179.35, according to a stack of criminal complaints.

Before joining the staff at Mercy Iowa City, Hayslett was employed with the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System from 1985 to 2005, officials confirmed. When she left the VA, her title was associate director for operations.

According to Gazette archives, Hayslett was acting director of the Iowa City VA in 2000 and 2001.

Her case is still winding its way through court. She is scheduled to be tried on 17 charges, including felony theft, on Jan. 8.

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