JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - A corrections officer has been accused of stealing narcotic painkillers right out of a woman's purse at the Clark County Courthouse. According to an investigative report the accused corrections officer admitted to stealing the painkillers in an interview with detectives.
Heather Burton, 29, said she had just come from the pharmacy and had a full bottle of Oxycodone for back pain when she showed up at the courthouse to pick up divorce papers. Burton said she went through the security checkpoint, but a corporal with county corrections department told her the x-ray machine was broken and he had to search her purse by hand.
When she got down the hall, Burton looked inside her purse and found half of her bottle of painkillers gone. The rest was spilled out in the bottom of her bag.
"I'm stunned," said Burton. "I'm shocked."
Burton immediately reported it and a detective with Clark County Sheriff's Office questioned the corrections officer. Initially, the corporal denied taking the pills, but during a search, a painkiller matching the remainder of Burton's prescription fell out of his pocket. Later, 29 additional painkillers matching the ones Burton had were discovered stashed in a vitamin bottle inside the security desk.
At that point, the report says the corrections officer admitted stealing Burton's pills during the bag search. According to the investigative report, the corporal said he did it because he couldn't deal with back pain anymore.
"He went through my purse and violated my rights," Burton said.
Although he admitted to stealing the pills WAVE 3 is not identifying him until he is formally charged. It's listed as felony theft investigation on the report.
The Clark County Sheriff Daniel Rodden said the accused officer has been with the department at least 7 years.
"Anytime an employee chooses to make those decisions it's a sad part of his life," Rodden said in a telephone interview. "I was surprised that this was going on in his life."