Jail Nurse Resigns, Accused Of Breaching Medical Records

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A registered nurse, who worked at the Jefferson County Jail's infirmary, has resigned after an alleged breach of medical information.

County Sheriff John Burns said the nurse, whose name was not released, worked at the jail for several years and resigned earlier this month.

According to Krista Kittle, spokesperson for Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, the RN used a computer to access the hospital's medical records of a person who was not an inmate.

Kittle said SMC has technology to monitor when medical information is accessed.

The program raised a red flag, she said, which prompted an investigation.

"It worked exactly the way it was supposed to work," said Kittle.

Based on the investigation, the hospital found out the RN was looking at medical records she shouldn't have been, Kittle said.

There's no word on what the relationship is between the nurse and the person whose information was viewed.

Officials said the person was notified about the breach.

There's no word on whether that person will file criminal charges against the RN.

The hospital and the sheriff's department will not seek to file charges, officials said.

The hospital, however, is looking into whether it can report the nurse a state licensing agency.

"We're in the process right now of determining, because we're not her employer, if we can report her, or if that happens to be a responsibility of her employer," said Kittle.

The incident is the latest in a string of problems for the sheriff's department. 

The county faces a lawsuit filed by Deputy Krystal Rice that focuses on photos that were allegedly taken for a pedophilia sting. 

Separately, Jefferson County Undersheriff Andy Neff is on administrative leave following accusations he sexually harassed an Adams Center woman.

Just last week, Sheriff Burns suspended one of his deputies for having an open alcoholic beverage container in his car.

Another deputy is also facing discipline in that case.

We're still waiting to hear whether the county Legislature is satisfied with the way that issue was handled. 

Monday, November 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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