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Victoria Nurse Under Investigation For Theft at Hospital

VICTORIA - Victoria Police are investigating a former nurse at Royal Jubilee Hospital, accused of breach of trust and stealing from patients. Detectives were tipped off by the Vancouver Island Health Authority which fired her from the emergency psychiatric ward. VIHA confirms thefts have been occurring at the hospital for some time. "We are looking back into this employee's history with VIHA. That is part of that investigation. (It) is something the detectives are taking their time with," says Victoria Police Constable, Mike Russell. The nurse worked with some of the hospital's most vulnerable; patients in the emergency psychiatric and intensive care ward. The health authority suspended the nurse on December 16th; five days later it fired her. CTV News asked the VIHA why it fired the employee when they had not been convicted of an actual offense. "We have done our internal investigation and the employee no longer works for us," says Rod O'Connell from the Vancouver Island Health Authority This is not the first time that the nurse has been involved in a criminal investigation. Victoria Police confirm the former employee has a conviction in another province. But that criminal record should have been uncovered when the organization that licenses nurses in B.C. completed a background check. The College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia is aware of the criminal investigation, but will not confirm if it did a background check on the nurse and, if it did, what it discovered. "Public protection is our priority," Cynthia Johansen tells CTV News "That's what we're here for. We have processes in place for investigating such matters. We do it in accordance with the regulations and legislation. But we do it in an expeditious way." A search of the college's website shows it renewed the nurse's license last week to practice for another year. Victoria police continue to investigate and detectives expect to forward charges to Crown Counsel sometime in the next two weeks.

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