The director of nursing at a Soledad prison remains on the job in the wake of official allegations that she falsified employee and narcotics records.
Meanwhile, prison officials reportedly have filed a disciplinary action against a registered nurse who blew the whistle on her.
Matt Pimentel — a nursing supervisor who signed a letter of no confidence against his boss, Angelia Britt, and reported alleged misconduct by her to the state Board of Registered Nursing — said he received notification of the "adverse action" by certified mail Nov. 19, the day after The Herald quoted him in a report on alleged misconduct by Britt and other nurses at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad.
Pimentel, who is on medical leave from the prison, said the action involved a 3-year-old allegation by a licensed vocational nurse who said he had "spread untrue rumors" about her. The deadline for the California Department of Corrections to file the action was Nov. 21, he said.
Pimentel said the action was signed by prison CEO Gerald Ellis on Nov. 16, the day after the state Attorney General's Office filed its accusation against Britt. Pimentel declined to share the paperwork until he consulted his attorney about how it might affect the worker's compensation case he is fighting.
He was disciplined by Ellis for being "discourteous" to another co-worker in
Terry Thornton, deputy press secretary for the Department of Corrections, confirmed Monday that Britt remains in the job while the state Attorney General's Office pursues the suspension or revocation of her license.
Britt has declined comment on the case. She is accused of falsifying pharmaceutical records to cover the possible diversion of more than 1,200 narcotic medications, preventing nursing supervisors from investigating or disciplining vocational nurses suspected of the diversion and failing to report their eventual termination to the state licensing board.
Filed by Deputy Attorney General Leslie Brast on behalf of the Board of Registered Nursing, the complaint also accuses Britt of falsifying payroll sheets for a nursing supervisor who was paid overtime on days she called in sick in 2010.
Brast said Monday she has been told the Nursing Board continues to investigate the nurse who received that pay. While the accusation does not name her, records obtained by The Herald indicate she is Lydia Hampton-Stewart, former head of the Hartnell College nursing program.
Hampton-Stewart and the college were embroiled in nearly four years of litigation after she was terminated in 2003 for allegedly falsifying her time sheets to collect more than $50,000 in unearned pay.
Hampton-Stewart alleged the disciplinary action was motivated by her complaints about sexual harassment by the college's president, Ed Valeau. The parties dropped all litigation in 2007.
Now a Sacramento resident, Hampton-Stewart has declined comment on the Soledad investigation. She is currently on sick leave from the prison.
Brast said Britt has not yet responded to the accusation. She has until Nov. 30 to file a "notice of defense" asking for a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Virginia Hennessey can be reached at 753-6751 or firstname.lastname@example.org