Published Date Written by Erik EiseleCONWAY — The Gorham woman arrested last week in connection with two bank robberies last month got fired from two nursing jobs last year after drugs she was responsible for went missing.
Roxanne (Esty) Gillis, the 38-year-old Canadian charged with allegedly threatening a bank teller while robbing the Conway branch of Bank of New Hampshire, told police she was desperate and needed to provide for her daughter, according to court documents.
New Hampshire Board of Nursing records, meanwhile, say Gillis lost two jobs as well as her nursing license after repeated instances where drugs she was responsible for went missing.
The first instance was in April 2011, according to the report from Gillis' adjudicative hearing where the board reviewed the allegations. On April 4 a coworker at St. Vincent de Paul Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Berlin discovered a patient's Ativan gel, used to relieve anxiety, was replaced with Haldol gel, which is used to treat psychotic disorders. "Upon further investigation," the report said, coworkers "discovered that Ativan gel had been replaced with Haldol gel for other residents."
The medication count had been accurate the day before, according to the report, and Gillis "worked on April 4, 2011, but could not explain the missing Ativan gel or why Haldol gel was in the wrong medication cart."
Two days later another coworker reported 10 doses of the pain relieving drug Tramadol missing. The coworker told the board the pills went missing the same day the gels got switched, on April 4.
Gillis denied taking the drugs, but she was fired from St. Vincent de Paul Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
Three months later, in July 2011, Gillis was working at the Country Village Center nursing home in Lancaster, the report continues, when a nurse reported tablets of Oxycodone, a commonly abused pain relief drug, missing. The nurse found six residents for whom more Oxycodone was taken out than was prescribed. "The signature on the record showing the discrepancies was Roxanne Esty's."
"On July 11, 2011, Ms. Esty had a urine drug test that showed negative for Oxycodone but positive for Oxymorphone," another pain relief drug, the report said. "Ms. Esty was terminated from Country Village Center."
The board fined Gillis $750, $250 for each violation, and suspended her nursing license for two years. The report listed the board's rationale for their decision: Gillis' "own testimony acknowledges she accidentally took Oxymorphone instead of Tylenol. She denies any drug diversion. [Gillis] had a flat affect, poor eye contact and had multiple drug errors within weeks of starting new jobs at two facilities."
Six months later on May 11, police allege, Gillis walked into the Bank of New Hampshire branch in Conway and gave the teller a note demanded money. The note said if the teller complied on one would get hurt. Police have not said how much money was taken.
Gillis admitted to detectives the night they arrested her that she was the person who committed the robbery, according to the arrest affidavit filed with the court. She also admitted to robbing a Kennebunk Savings Bank branch in York, Maine.
Authorities in York have not filed charges yet, according to Conway Police Lt. Chris Perley. They may not until file paperwork for arrest, he said, they may just move to indict her. "We're certainly not going to let her go until our charges are finished."
Gillis could also face federal charges since banks are federally insured institutions, he said, but "that decision is with the Department of Justice."
Perley would not comment on the Gillis case specifically since it is ongoing, but in general, he said, thefts are often connected to addiction. "People who do drugs don't make a lot of rational decisions," he said.