Nurse pleads guilty to felony drug charge
October 19, 2004
A registered nurse at The Memorial Hospital pleaded guilty in district court Tuesday to the felony charge of unlawfully attempting to obtain the drug Percocet.
William Thomas Bertram, 30, will serve between five and 30 days in jail, pay fines of more than $500 and log 200 hours of public service, according to the terms of a plea agreement. He also will undergo four years supervised probation and drug treatment.
Bertram originally was charged with three felony counts, but two were dismissed in the deal. Terms of his jail time will be finalized during sentencing Dec. 7.
On July 23, Bertram tried to obtain the prescription drug Percocet from City Market using a prescription pad and forged signature from Dr. Thomas Told, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch, who is prosecuting the case. A City Market worker called Dr. Told to determine whether the prescription was legitimate, and the doctor said it wasn’t, Fitch said.
The Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Pam Thompson said Bertram still works as a nurse at the hospital, but he doesn’t administer medications to patients.
Thompson said hospital officials immediately catalogued the pharmaceuticals and administered drug tests to employees after it learned of the incident. Only one pill turned up missing in the investigation, Thompson said.
Bertram’s lawyer, Kristopher Hammond, declined to assess the outcome of the case.
“It was a compromise,” he said.
After successfully completing four years of probation, Bertram’s conviction will be expunged from his record.
“That’s the advantage,” Hammond added.
Bertram’s wife, Alice Bertram, tearfully said after the arraignment that “he is very sorry for what he did.”
“He’s a great nurse,” she said. “He loves his job.”