Former jail medical director admits to stealing drugs

Former jail medical director admits to stealing drugs

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Brenda Ellis

This story was updated on Oct. 25.

The former top medical officer at the Montgomery County Jail recently admitted to theft and theft of drugs in exchange for avoiding prosecution, according to county officials.

Dr. Brenda Ellis was fingerprinted and had her mugshot taken at the jail on Aug. 24 and accepted into a diversion program on Aug. 29, according to a prosecutor’s office spokesman.

RELATED: County blames health care provider for jail inmate’s injuries Ellis was the medical administrator at the jail and worked for the company NaphCare, which provides inmate medical services at the jail through a contract with the county. Under the current NaphCare contract, the county will pay the company up to $3.55 million a year through 2019.

Contacted this week, Ellis declined to comment.

The allegations against her followed a State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy investigation into improper handling of controlled substances at the jail from 2011 to 2015.

RELATED: Montgomery County Jail health care provider faces discipline In July, the state pharmacy board reached a settlement agreement with NaphCare that called for the company to pay the board $7,000, provide more staff training and remove Ellis as the person responsible for compliance with the jail’s pharmacy license.

“NaphCare agrees to never use Dr. Ellis as a Responsible Person on any of its Ohio licenses,” the agreement states.

As part of the agreement, the company neither admitted nor denied fault.

Bradley Cain, spokesman and general counsel of Alabama-based NaphCare, said in an interview Wednesday that the company was unaware of the allegations against Ellis but that changes were made to address the issues identified by the pharmacy board.

SPECIAL REPORT: Justice in the Jailhouse - Lawsuits, accusations plague county jails in the region. “We have made implementation of changes based on the settlement agreement we entered into with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy,” Cain said. “Everything outlined in that agreement we’re in compliance with today.”

Cain said the company has contracts with jails in Montgomery, Franklin and Hamilton counties and has had no problems at other facilities.

Ellis resigned from NaphCare on July 31 and is no longer allowed access to the jail, according to Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office officials.

No formal action has been taken against Ellis’ medical license, according to the State Medical Board of Ohio. Medical board records say she has had a license since 1989 and has specialties in general practice and pediatrics.

JUSTICE N THE JAILHOUSE

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