HONESDALE— Oct. 19, Judge Raymond Hamill sentenced Karen Marie Feldner, 57, of Honesdale, to 60 days incarceration, followed by a total of 72 months intermediate punishment – including 90 days of house arrest immediately after her incarceration – for one count of theft by unlawful taking, a felony of the third degree, and one count of misbranding a controlled substance, an ungraded misdemeanor.
Included in the sentencing, Feldner must pay a restitution of $19,358.98.
Feldner had plead guilty to these charges on August 31, 2017.
As earlier reported, Feldner was formerly the nursing director at Mountain Laurel Surgery Center on Fair Avenue.
While serving as such, Feldner stole or tampered with nearly 2,000 vials of fentanyl, a powerful narcotic used to sedate patients undergoing surgery which can also be abused for illicit recreation.
Feldner refilled some of the empty vials with saline.
She stated during the sentencing that this was to buy her time until she could swap the altered vials with the correct medication when a new shipment came in.
She admitted remorse, stating she never intended for others to be injured.
“It was sick, sick thinking,” stated Feldner, explaining she suffered from addiction which corrupted her rationale.
She stated she felt compelled to hide the theft because she was too ashamed to seek help for her addiction.
Feldner's attorney, John Notarianni, urged Judge Hamill to keep his client's addiction and remorse for her actions in mind when considering a sentence.
District Attorney (DA) Janine Edwards stated at the sentencing that, despite being in the throes of addiction, one should not overlook the individuals who suffered as a result of Feldner's actions.
Edwards explained patients were not only harmed by receiving tampered-with medications, but also the reputation of the business and the staff who unknowingly administered the wrong substance.
In considering the appropriate sentence, Hamill acknowledged Feldner's addiction as an illness she would have to endure the rest of her life.
“This is part of you,” he said. “It's who you are.”