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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Nurse in prison timecard scandal fired

Monterey County HeraldA nurse accused of claiming unearned overtime hours at a Soledad prison has been fired.

Lydia Hampton-Stewart was terminated from the Correctional Training Facility on April 2 and filed an appeal of the action three days later, Patricia McConahay, spokeswoman for the state personnel board, confirmed Friday.

A state audit concluded in December that two nursing supervisors falsely claimed or approved nearly $10,000 in overtime pay over a four-month period in 2010. The report did not include the nurses' names, but whistleblowers who initiated the two-year investigation and records obtained by The Herald indicated they were Hampton-Stewart and her supervisor, then-Director of Nursing Angelia Britt.

According to the records, confirmed by the audit, some of the overtime hours Hampton-Stewart claimed were on days she called in sick. The registered nurse has previously declined comment about the case. A young man who answered her previous telephone number Friday said it was no longer her number.

Liz Gransee, spokeswomen for the federal receiver's office which is overseeing medical care at the state's prisons, said Hampton-Stewart was terminated based on the findings of the state audit.

To date neither the state Board of Registered Nursing, the Attorney General's Office nor local prosecutors have filed any criminal or civil actions against Hampton-Stewart or her nursing license, though Deputy Attorney General Leslie Brast said in November there was an ongoing investigation. continue reading...

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