By Mike Linn
A woman who worked for more than two years as a nurse in Clovis was arrested Friday on charges she forged nurse licenses and embezzled from one of her employers.
Jennifer Jenwah King, 33, is charged with embezzling $907 from La Casa Family Health Center, working as a nurse without a license and providing two healthcare facilities with fraudulent nurse’s licenses.
King was terminated from her position at La Casa on July 23 after working as a nurse for more than two years, according to a statement from Jeanette Chavez, director of marketing and public relations for La Casa, which also has an office in Portales. King also recently worked as a nurse without a license for a brief period in the office of David Stalker, a Clovis doctor, but is no longer employed there, court records show.
King is not listed in the Clovis phone book and could not be reached for comment.
Court records show the number of the licensed practical nurse she used at La Casa expired in 1984 and was issued to an Edna McNew, whose relationship to King is unknown. Chavez said King edited the license and imposed her name on it.
“It looked legit,” Chavez said.
Chavez said King worked for La Casa for almost one year as a patient advocate, which doesn’t require a license, and built a good rapport with employees before she turned in the alleged falsified nurse’s license when she applied for an opening as a nurse.
Seferino Montano, chief executive officer at La Casa, said in a statement there is no indication there was any harm done to patients as a result of King’s employment.
“We were very surprised to discover Ms. King’s false licensure,” Montano said in a statement. “We have implemented new policies and procedures to prevent this type of situation from occurring again.”
Since the incident, Chavez said the licenses of all La Casa doctors and nurses have been verified. She said state officials have been notified of the incident and are investigating.
“If a facility has someone working as a nurse and they’re not a nurse then we can cite them … It depends on the circumstances,” said Catherine Lopez, interim bureau chief of health facilities and licensing certification for the state Department of Health. “They could be cited or be required to give us a plan of how they’re going to avoid doing this in the future.”
King told Agent Roman Romero of Clovis police that she cashed a $907 La Casa check she had reported stolen in July, and later cashed a replacement check, court records show.
King told Romero she rigged false licenses for officials at La Casa and Dr. Stalker’s office, court records show.
Officials at Dr. Stalker’s office did not return a phone call seeking comment.
King turned herself in at the Curry County Adult Detention Center on Friday and posted a $10,000 appearance bond minutes later and was released, jail officials said. She is scheduled to be in Magistrate Court on Monday for a hearing on the charges.