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Posted April 4, 2014 EST

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Rochester Firefighter Accused Of Stealing Meds
United States (New Hampshire) - The defense attorney for Don Penney, a Rochester firefighter and former Frisbie Memorial Hospital employee accused of diverting pain medication from patients -- continues to review evidence against him, and the state has asked for additional time to extend a plea offer in regard to the case.

Penney, 49, of 15 Snow St., is facing 29 felony charges, alleging he took the narcotic drugs Fentanyl and Hydromorphone from patients between April 2012 and August 2013, while he worked as a paramedic at Frisbie Memorial Hospital. Penney, who worked at the hospital for 20 years, was fired in August, after the drug diversion came to light.

Penney is also a Rochester fire lieutenant, who has been on unpaid administrative leave for the past several months.

According to grand jury indictments issued in January, Penney, over the course of more than a year, withdrew Fentanyl from Frisbie's Pyxis machine under a patient's name without a doctor's order, and rather than administering the drug to the patient, he kept it for himself.

Several charges also allege Penney was in possession of Hydromorphone, and that he made false statements in a patient's medical records, stating he administered Fentanyl and Hydromorphone to a patient, when in fact he did not.

During a dispositional conference on Thursday, the defense and prosecution agreed to hold another conference in about 30 days. According to an agreement signed Thursday, the defense recently received about 1,000 pages of discovery, or evidence against Penney, from the state, and needs more time to review that evidence. In addition, the state is asking for more time to extend a plea offer to Penney.

No new court date has been scheduled at this time.

Penney is currently free on $10,000 personal recognizance bail, and is being supervised by the Strafford County Community Corrections Program.

Written by Liz Markhlevskaya


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