Coroner in Court

JANESVILLE (NBC15) Rock County's coroner faces up to 32 years in prison for allegedly stealing drugs from death scenes.

Karen Gilbertson's made her initial appearance in Rock County Court Monday afternoon. Gilbertson is charged with 4 felonies for allegedly stealing prescription drugs from death investigation scenes.

"As of now, it's at least been a couple years that it's been going on from what we've received," says Rock County District Attorney David O'Leary.

Gilbertson is charged with misconduct in public office, delivery of narcotics, possession of narcotics, and theft from a corpse. The coroners’ office collects prescription drugs from a death scene which are supposed to be destroyed.

According to the criminal complaint, Gilbertson confessed to investigators that she would steal drugs and use them for her own knee and back pains. Gilbertson is quoted as saying, “I'm not stealing because we throw the stuff away.” The District Attorney says Gilbertson also handed out the drugs to her co–workers.

Barb Collins is the only other co–worker to be charged. She is accused of felony misconduct in office and the delivery of narcotics. Both women are on leave from work. The Rock County Coroners office is currently being run with help from other counties.

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