Cumberland County EMS supervisor’s arrest reveals cracks in opioid distribution system

Randy Davidson (Source: TBI)

CROSSVILLE (WATE) – An investigation into former Cumberland County Emergency Medical Services supervisor highlights deficiencies in the drug distribution processes, according to the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

In February 2017, Randy Davidson, 47, was indicted by the Cumberland County Grand Jury for two counts of theft under a thousand dollars, one count of official misconduct and one count of forgery. The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office said over the course of at least 20 months Davison falsified documents in order to steal drugs for his own use.

Previous story: Former Cumberland County EMS supervisor charged with stealing drugs, misconduct

Davidson stole 36 doses of fentanyl and 43 doses of morphine from January 2015 to August 2016, according to the Tennessee Comptroller’s office. Investigators said he falsified more than 50 controlled substance administration documents to make it appear the drugs had been used legitimately by other paramedics.

admin-form
(Tennessee Comptroller’s Office)

This scheme was first identified by officials of Cumberland County Emergency Medical Services. The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigated the allegations.

On August 15, 2016 Davidson resigned from Cumberland County Emergency Management Services. The comptroller’s office said he acknowledged to investigators that he had taken the controlled substance for his own use.

EMS officials said they are working to correct the deficiencies in their system. Investigators found in many instances officials did not adequately review the primary document Davidson used to obtain pain medication. The form requires signatures of the paramedic that administered the drug, a witness and a supervisor, but some of the forms Davidson used to get pain medication only had his signature.

Also, supervisors were able to obtain replacement controlled substances without proof that the drugs replaced had been used. Investigators said the supervisors were not required to turn in the empty vials of the drugs as evidence that the drugs had actually been administered. Additionally, EMS officials did not maintain a perpetual inventory of controlled substances allowing officials to monitor, in real time, the use rate of all drugs in stock.

“I’m pleased to see that EMS officials are taking steps to review the forms that are used when controlled substances are administered. The signatures of the paramedic, supervisor and a witness should always be included,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson.

Wilson said anyone that suspects fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee can call the comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454 or file a report online.

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