Veterans Affairs Nurse Charged In Opioid Theft Scandal In Minneapolis

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Minneapolis VA nurse

One Minneapolis VA Medical Center nurse was charged with stealing opioids from work according to a criminal complaint filed yesterday.

The nurse, Matthew Leninger, told investigators he stole syringes from a tracking machine used to dispense the drugs. He was caught once enough was depleted without an explanation given for the missing drugs.

Leninger allegedly took a few doses a day for his mental health. Investigators found 34 doses missing from the Pyxis machine that tracked the drugs.

If convicted, Leninger faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.

According to a Fox 9 report:

The Pyxis machine he stole from dispenses medication to nurses with a username and fingerprint, as well as the name of the patient to which the drugs are going, later requiring the nurses to scan the barcode of the package and document the excess waste after it’s administered.

By not doing this, investigators were able to compare records and easily determine the drugs taken and their amounts, with Leninger later confirming to police that the drugs had not been prescribed to him.

Source: http://www.fox9.com/news/278808069-story

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43 Comments

    • Every Six Months?

      They should drug test them each day they show up to start a day of work and then drug test them at the end of the day. That way they can keep proper drug inventories on hand to provide for Veterans who really need it.

      Or better yet, they should stop hiring Junkies at the VA.

      • Wow would you allow to be drug tested everyday you come to VA clinic ? There are a few bad apples out there but that a rarity vs the norm .You talk about having a nursing shortage in the VA system you would have no nurses at all .Reficulous idea guy !

      • Funny how you said “few bad apples out there but that a rarity”. We are not talking about out there we are talking about the VA. Where there is more than a few bad Apples it is a whole stinking barrel full of rotten apples.

      • Also your use of the word “reficulous” highly in appropriate use of the word. After all we are not talking about pornstar’s boobs.

        We are talking about junkies being hired then provided access to a Pez-dispenser full of opiates.

      • And then being whacked out, theses Nurses treat Veterans, or they don’t by stealing the Veteran’s meds. Shame on the VA for even having one bad apple. Where’s the vetting before hire, and routine vetting for those VA employees gone bad. Shootz, damn skankitz.

  1. It took 34 missing doses before anyone or system was wiser? How many Vets were in unnecessary pain because an engorged purple team member wanted to get his freak on? I’m guessing at *least* 34 Veterans were the ones REALLY missing doses.
    Those Pyxis machines and the Veterans attached to them, are purple team vending machines.

    • Actually, given the stellar of the VHA over the years – – – I am surprised that the number was that low – – – rather than in the hundreds, prior to catching this reprobate.

      Grateful to be back in Honolulu alive. Hope all our Florida vet family keeps their chin up and head down! Irma looks to be NASTY . . .

  2. Something in the news video, which was/is NOT in the written article(s), was that the nurse said (paraphrasing) There was a “lack of accountability” and that’s why he took the drugs! Basically to help him cope!
    Did anyone else catch that?
    Another thing is, When are/will upper management personnel be held accountable for their crimes against veterans? And thefts against the American Taxpaying People?

    I also believe everyone, from directors on down at every VHA and VBA, should be drug tested – just as we patients/veterans ARE tested – whether we know it or NOT!
    Believe it or NOT, there’s veterans out there who don’t even realize they’re being drug tested!

    There’s so much damn corruption going on throughout our Great Republic, it’s hard to keep up with “Who’s doing what to who!” The sad part about it is, “They”, in ALL branches of government, don’t even care IF “they’re” caught!

    • That’s like the thief blaming the bank branch for tormenting his inability to control his urge to steal…the poor cuddly wuddly purple team member is saying he is basically a THIEF AT THE CORE and the VA and LACK of accountability was ENABLING his behavior!
      HOLY BAT-SHIT, Batman! These fucks have adapted to utilize VA kryptonite called accountability only when it benefits an engorged purple team asshole!

      HEY, VA Hack nurse, Matthew Leninger….it’s YOUR LACK OF ETHICS, Dick!

  3. Matthew Leininger
    Current Criminal Charges in Wisconsin from an incident on August 28, 2017

    1.) Felony H Aggravated Battery-Elderly Wisconsin Statue 940.19(6)(a), Charge Modifier Domestic Abuse
    2.) Misd A Battery Wisconsin Statue 940.19(1)
    3.) Misd B Disorderly Conduct Wisconsin Statue 947.01(1), Charge Modifier Domestic Abuse

    • STATE OF WISCONSIN BEFORE THE BOARD OF NURSING; IN THE MATTER OF: DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST; MATTHEW A. LEININGER, R.N., FINAL DECISION AND ORDER
      “https://online.drl.wi.gov/decisions/2008/ls0804034nur-00077647.pdf”

      FINDINGS OF FACT, Dated at Madison, Wisconsin this April 3, 2008

      1. Matthew Alexander Leininger (dob: 6/4/75) is and was at all times relevant to the facts set forth herein a professional nurse licensed in the State of Wisconsin pursuant to license #137085. This license was first granted 2/22/01.
      2. Between October, 2003, and December, 2003, and while employed as a professional nurse at Aurora Healthcare, Racine, Wisconsin, Respondent diverted the Schedule II controlled substance meperidine for his personal use, without a prescription or other legal authority.
      3. Following an evaluation at Aurora Healthcare Respondent was diagnosed with opioid abuse. Respondent has participated in treatment for his condition at Aurora Healthcare and then at All Saints Counseling Center, Racine, Wisconsin, where he was diagnosed with chemical dependency.
      4. Respondent participated in the Board’s Impaired Professionals Procedure from approximately April 1, 2004, through August 29, 2007, when he was removed from the IPP for failing to file reports from his therapist. Respondent represents to the Board that he was financially unable to continue therapy, and that notwithstanding his failure to comply, he has remained free of unprescribed mood-altering substances.
      5. Respondent is currently engaged in nursing practice in a physician’s office.

      • ORDER GRANTING INITIAL STAY OF SUSPENSION, MONITORING ORDER Dated 06/02/2008
        “https://online.drl.wi.gov/decisions/2008/ls0804034nur-00076802.pdf”

      • ORDER DENYING FULL REINSTATEMENT OF LICENSURE, MONITORING ORDER Dated 08/03/2009
        “https://online.drl.wi.gov/decisions/2009/ls0804034nur-00076254.pdf”

        On July 23, 2009, the Board of Nursing considered the petitioner’s request for full reinstatement of his registered nurse license pursuant to the Final Decision and Order dated November 8, 2007. Based upon the information of record which shows that the petition has not been in compliance with the terms and conditions of the order, the Board now finds and makes the following:

        ORDER: NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the request for full reinstatement of the registered nurse license of MATTHEW LEININGER, R.N., (lic. # 137085-30) is DENIED.
        STATE OF WISCONSIN BOARD OF NURSING

      • ORDER DENYING FULL RENSTATEMENT AND GRANTING MODIFICATIONS, Dated 10/22/2010
        “https://online.drl.wi.gov/decisions/2010/LS0804034NUR-00005405.pdf”

        On October 14, 2009, the Board of Nursing considered the petitioner’s request for full reinstatement of his registered nurse license pursuant to the Final Decision and Order dated April 3, 2008. In the alternative, the petitioner requests modifications of the terms and conditions of the order to decrease his drug screens, terminate therapy and reduce his AA/NA
        meeting attendance. Based upon the information of record which shows that the petition has not been in compliance with the order for the required length of time to warrant full reinstatement, the Board now finds and makes the following:
        ORDER
        NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the request for full reinstatement of the registered
        nurse license of MATTHEW A. LEININGER, R.N., (lic. # 137085-30) is DENIED.
        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that petitioner’s request for modifications is GRANTED as
        follows:
        1. Petitioner’s therapy requirement is terminated based upon support by his therapist.
        2. Petitioner’s drug screens shall be decreased to twenty-eight (28) per year plus one annual hair test.
        3. Petitioner’s AA/NA meeting attendance shall be decreased to one meeting per week.

        STATE OF WISCONSIN BOARD OF NURSING

      • The thing about addicts…they tend to get squirrly and jump back into the stuff when they no longer have a support system. This guys BS line was bought, hook line and sinker, by the WI board of nursing. Anyone asking that they be allowed to NOT go to the AA/NA meetings really isnt interested in that support system.

      • Think he may have a wake up call coming with the conditions of his bail in Wisconsin. I note that he must have blamed his criminal actions on Alcohol. The Judge also seems to have bought the story on alcohol.

        His bail conditions include: “Charges per attached criminal complaint. Conditions: It is a condition of this bond that the defendant NOT consume or possess any alcohol. This is to be monitored through random UAs and/or breathalyzers by the Racine County Alternatives Program. You must report to room MC340 (Law Enforcement Center 717 Wisconsin Ave Racine WI 53403) within 24 business hours (hours M-Fr 8am-4:30pm). In addition to random testing, the defendant is further ordered to test after each court appearance. No contact with the victim DML CAL and WAL (person, property, residence or family). Make all court appearances on time. Failure to appear will result in the issuance of a warrant for your arrest, possible bail jumping charges and forfeiture of any bond on deposit.”

        Hope they pull a UA instead of just a Breathalyzer.

      • Also have to wonder if a dirty UA, after his arrest for beating his parents, lead to them checking the drug dispenser at the Minneapolis VAMC.

        The incident in Wisconsin occurred on 08/28/2017 and his charges for “five counts of theft by swindle” at the VAMC were made public on Tuesday 09/05/2017.

      • “js”
        And I can almost guarantee you the VA had something to do with this asshole’s ability to keep his nursing license!
        They’re entangled deep in the justice system to keep criminals from going to prison!

      • Why me. I just stated as a matter of factly that it was pretty clear that this guy didnt want to recover from his addiction. I had nothing to do with the VA, or its personnel, in hiring or keeping this idiot employed and unsupervised around drugs. The failure of the VA to check this guy out is the root of this evil, no me pointing out these facts.

    • Minnesota Board of Nursing: LEININGER,

      License Type: Registered Nurse
      License Number: #2244107
      Issue Date: 1/06/2015
      Expire Date: 6/30/2017
      Action History None

    • Sleuthmore Seymore Klearly — Awesome sleuthing. Guarantee Leininger will be a hard mole to whack. I predict this guy will be an eternal floater in the VA cesspool and the VA will send him to Phoenix VAMC to be head of nursing and pharmacy.
      Again, wait for it…

  4. Tip of the iceberg.
    LOTS of drugs go missing at the VA, one guy getting caught is like a drop of water on a house fire.

  5. The halls of healing meant for the addicted are chock full of nurses present and former who fall into this trap. It is unclear if the profession attracts the addicts in such high percentages but crocodiles do make their living at the watering hole after all, right?

    In honesty it is a huge problem for all healthcare facilities. What VA does is make the watering hole pretty godamn easy to get to for the crocs and then generally the pickings are so very good that it takes a complete bonehead knowingly sacrificing his life for the addiction. I believe that these thefts are his first thefts of the drug about as much as I believe crocs are picky about which gazelle they devour first.

    I also noticed one other thing on the documentary I saw on the crocs (a crocumentary) – they are never, ever, EVER alone in the watering hole so long as the gazelles keep showing up…

  6. *I am a 72 year Old Diabetic War-Nam Veteran. I have to be injected in my eyes to prevent Blindness from my Diabetes. I have a hard time getting any member of my family to give me a ride back home after the V.A.M.C. injects my eyes !*

    • Pete you may want to check with your Veterans County services office to see if there is a Van that provides rides to, and back from, the VA in your area.

  7. Given this junkie was only charged with five counts of theft by swindle for stealing the opioids. Under Minnesota law he will only go to court for a petty theft misdemeanor.

  8. Current VHA employee here. This happens all the time and it is rampant. They can’t keep up with it. I had two separate nurses, while on duty, on two separate occasions, just a few months back, offer me amphetamine because I was so tired. One was “the med nurse,” the actual nurse whose job is to pass meds during the shift, who was at that time passing meds, she was high as a kite. I reported this to another nurse on duty, a senior very experienced nurse, and he just shrugged and said don’t get involved, the management knows about it but they don’t want to get sued and she will cover all shift they ask for when people call in. Of course she will, cuz she has lots of energy!!! Another time another nurse noticed me at the nurses station looking tired. This other nurse who was working the floor with me, did the same thing. He said, I will tell the charge nurse I am going to to McDonalds for lunch break, but he would get speed and give me some, his treat.

    I reported this and al to more to the VA OIG, State RN board, my facility Director through the chain-of-command, State ombudsman, two Congressman in the district (Democrats). Guess what happened? Nothing. LITERALLY NOTHING!!!!! They told me that they will keep an eye on the med nurse. The other nurse, they moved him from the general medicine ward where I am assigned to, to the Operating Room where they do surgery. Why? They said because they can keep a better eye on him???? This is your VA Hospital people. And according to what I am told, I am at a “better” VA.

    There is a whole bunch more ton of stuff I reported, multiple patient deaths, etc. They have repeatedly threatened me that if I go public or contact the media I lose my whistleblower protection, and that they will take care of it.

    And to boot, just a few days ago I have been given a letter of proposed removal. Why? Because I was hurt on the job, my VA nursing job, and the workers comp doctor says I should be healed enough now after my surgery to go back to work. My knee still hurt/kept hurting so I went to another doctor, my VA doctor no less. She says I should never ever go back to that job and that I should have never been hired in the first place for that job due to my service connected injuries, and now my on the job injury has made them worse. I asked the VA doctor to write a note, or fill out the FMLA reasonable accommodation paperwork so I can move to another job or get early medical retirement. She refuses, because she says its a conflict of interest. I told by supervisor this and asked her to work with HR to get me a lot for duty physical. She says its my problem, its between me and OWCP. I told the HR/LR guy this, he laughed and just said, go get a lawyer and I have until this Friday to submit my rebuttal.

    NOW I AM FUCKING BIENG FIRED!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK???????

    • I project that Controlled Substance Abuse of Opioids and Other Drug in the VA, are in the $100’s of millions each year. In a previous article, a VA Executive admitted that the VA has a problem with drug theft, and they didn’t know where to start, or how BIG that it is. All you have to do is a little research instead of running your mouth with bullshit. Wake the hell up. These types of Health Care Workers have no part being in this industry, ANYMORE. The temptation and threat is just to great. A REAL LIABILITY. Stupid, just clean up the VA. The VA needs to implement more testing programs on their employees, both for the safety of Veterans, and the VA employees as well.

  9. So again so f**king accountability , I was med certified on a ward and in a unit and no way in hell could I or any Senior Enlisted Corpsman dispense excess or unprescribed meds without the charge nurse or a LT.C taking notice at the end of a shift.
    And the Fu**kery continues at the VA.

  10. Dr. Freud has determined the VA cannot keep it’s shit together and together with RAND Corp., has redefined the very name of the VA to ‘IVA’, which now stands for Incontinent Veteran’s Administration (IVA).
    ‘Incontinent’- Lacking in moderation or self-control. Involuntary discharges of fecal matter from meat grinder’s southern orifice. Unrestrained, uncontrolled…

    • I’d say on the fluidity side of things. Spraying all over the halls of the VA. Can you imagine the contamination. Oh my, Mr. Clean you’d have to work overtime to keep things in order. A Normal Day, that happens Everyday, at your Local VA. Believing the VA? Now don’t be that foolish. – – – Nutter.

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