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Custodian charged in theft of meds

A school custodian is facing several felony charges after police say the man stole students’ medications from the nurse’s office at an elementary school.

James Gibson, 63, of Park Hills, is being charged with 10 class D felonies of stealing a controlled substance.

According to a probable cause statement, on Oct. 25 at 9:40 a.m. the Park Hills Police Department was called to Central Elementary to speak with the building principal and nurse.

The nurse said a grandparent contacted her and asked her to check on her grandson’s pills. The nurse discovered 35 of the student’s Adderall pills were missing.

She said at that point she counted the medications of the 12 other students who have medications dispensed throughout the day.

The nurse found that six of the 12 students were missing medication. She said a total of 216 pills missing, with 110 being Adderall. The remaining 106 pills were a mix of Ritalin, Dexedrine, Hydroxyzine and Clonidine.

The officer asked the nurse if the medicine cabinet was locked and she said it was and that a spare key was left in the secretary’s possession in the front office. She also said her office door is locked every evening when she leaves her office.

After the nurse left the room the officer asked who else had keys to the nurse’s office. The principal said he had a key, as well as the nurse and several custodians. He told the officer that the district was going to place a hidden camera in the nurse’s office to catch the person who was stealing the pills on camera. The principal believed it to be one of the custodians on the evening shift.

On Oct. 30 at 8:05 a.m. the officer was contacted by the superintendent of the schools. He said the person who had been stealing the medications was caught on video on Oct. 27. The man was identified as Gibson. The officer watched the video and saw Gibson going through the nurse’s cabinet and then taking something from it.

The officer then paid a visit to the nurse to see if any medications had gone missing since Friday. She said she had counted the pills on Friday and recounted them Monday morning and there were in fact pills missing.

The officer then contacted the parents of the victims and were asked to fill out a statement. After receiving the statements back, the officer went to Gibson’s home and arrested him for stealing. He was taken to the police department.

The officer asked Gibson if he had been in the nurse’s office and he said he has gone in there to get Band-Aids when he cuts himself. When asked if he knew where the nurse kept the medications he said he thought he did, but denied taking any.

The officer told Gibson he was caught on camera stealing the medications. When asked why he stole the medications, Gibson said he was a “dopehead.” He knew what he was taking because he used to work at the prison. He refused to give a written statement until he spoke with his wife.

Gibson originally posted a $2,500 bond when he was first arrested, but since then a warrant has been issued and Gibson is now wanted on a $150,000 bond.



Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or

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