Attorney General Linda Kelly today announced that Pennsylvania State Police have filed criminal charges against the Cumberland County Coroner following an investigation into allegations of improper handling of prescription drugs at the Coroner's Office. Kelly identified the defendant as Todd Creigh Eckenrode, 51, of 175 West Middlesex Drive, Carlisle. According to the criminal complaint, Eckenrode allegedly diverted prescription medication that had been seized as the result of death investigations conducted by the Coroner's Office. Rather than destroying those drugs, as was the procedure after cases had been closed, Eckenrode is accused of keeping some of those prescription pills for his own use.
Kelly said a search of the Cumberland County Coroner's Office, conducted on March 18th, 2011, resulted in the seizure of two prescription pill bottles from Eckenrode's desk, including prescription medication related to a 2010 death investigation which should have been destroyed.
Eckenrode is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Eckenrode was preliminarily arraigned today in Cumberland County before Senior Magisterial District Judge Barbara Clare and released on $50,000 unsecured bail.
Eckenrode waived his preliminary hearing and is scheduled for formal arraignment on March 15, 2012 in Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas.
The case is being prosecuted in Cumberland County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael A. Sprow of the Attorney General's Criminal Prosecution Section.
Kelly thanked the Pennsylvania State Police for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.
Cumberland County Coroner charged in prescription drug investigation
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