FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The woman at the center of a multiagency investigation into allegations of theft has been fired from her position as Wells County EMS Director.
50-year-old Tina Crouse faces 76 felony theft charges in Wells County. According to court documents, Crouse is accused of ordering 31 shipments of the painkiller Nubain between January 2011 and July 2012, even though the department stopped using Nubain in 2010.
Crouse allegedly told police she ordered the medication as a back up to shipments in short supply.
She is also accused of using the Wells County EMS credit card for personal purchases. According to court documents, a garden tiller and two generators purchased with company funds was located at Crouse's home. Crouse has also been accused of using mulch intended for use at company stations at her home and a family business.
On Monday, Crouse appeared in court for her initial hearing. She had yet to post bond, which has been set at $380,000.
According to Don Swanson, an attorney for Wells County EMS, Crouse also signed termination papers on Monday. She had previously been on paid leave.
Swanson also says the DEA recently completed an audit of EMS inventory. He says all medications, outside of the missing Nubain shipments, have been accounted for.
In addition, Crouse is accused of letting the Medical Director's DEA license expire. The license gives EMS employees the legal right to dispense narcotics. According to court documents, renewal was typically Crouse's responsibility.
Swanson says EMS employees were not immediately aware that the license had expired, and continued to administer narcotic medications. Following a DEA investigation, Swanson says the department's actions were cleared.
As of Wednesday, the DEA had renewed the DEA license, officially allowing EMS employees to dispense narcotics to patients.
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