Clinic Nurse Caught Stealing Painkillers

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Clinic caught one of its nurses red-handed, stealing high-powered painkillers, and only Action News' Tom Meyer was able to get a look at the incriminating hidden-camera video.

It's a story that you could have only seen on Action News.

The surveillance video shows Joseph Paytk pocketing drugs that you could only get with a prescription. For seven months, investigators said that Paytk was stealing OxyCotin, Demerol and Morphine from a machine inside the hospital.

They said that he would use a device to pry open a drawer that contained the addictive painkillers.

"He went into this machine without authorization and stole these drugs for his personal use," Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Sean Jones said.

Paytk told a judge that he got into nursing to help people, something he did for seven years. Because of this latest incident, however, he has lost his job and his license.

"I'm really sorry," Paytk said. "I apologize to the clinic, patients and everyone I betrayed."

Paytk is not going to jail for his crime, but prosecutors said that it doesn't diminish what he did.

"It's not small potatoes," Jones said. "No nurse should be doing this. He betrayed a trust and he of all people should know better."

Paytk was placed on four years of probation.