Broward Health Director Says She's Begun Process of Firing Employee Busted in Undercover Operation

Jeffery Fowler, 40, is being held on $150,000 bond

By Ari Odzer
|  Friday, Oct 19, 2012  |  Updated 5:25 PM EDT
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Dr. Paula Thaqi, the director of the Broward County Health Department, said she has begun termination proceedings against Jeffrey Fowler, who was arrested for allegedly stealing HIV treatment drugs and trading them for Oxycodone. The BSO's Donald Harris, who is commander of the Metro Broward Drug Task Force, spoke about the case.

Dr. Paula Thaqi, the director of the Broward County Health Department, said she has begun termination proceedings against Jeffrey Fowler, who was arrested for allegedly stealing HIV treatment drugs and trading them for Oxycodone. The BSO's Donald Harris, who is commander of the Metro Broward Drug Task Force, spoke about the case.

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Broward County Health Department Employee Busted For Stealing HIV Drugs: Authorities

Broward County employee Jeffery Fowler was supposed to provide needed medicine for HIV inmates, but he was arrested Wednesday afternoon for allegedly keeping the pricy drugs and trying to sell them to a Broward Sheriff's Office informant in exchange for Oxycodone pills. Surveillance video showed the undercover operation that took place before officers arrested Fowler, 40, in Oakland Park. Cmdr. Donald Harris spoke about the arrest. Officers recovered the drugs, worth about $2,000, which were supposed to be handed to recently released HIV-infected Broward County inmates as part of the Health Department's jail linkage project.
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The Broward County Health Department’s director said she is moving to fire Jeffery Fowler, the employee who was arrested for allegedly stealing HIV treatment drugs and trading them for Oxycodone.

Fowler, 40, would then sell the Oxycodone for profit, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

"The Broward County Health Department does not tolerate such actions. I have initiated termination proceedings against Mr. Fowler,” Director Dr. Paula Thaqi said Thursday. “We will continue to work with law enforcement throughout this investigation."

Fowler is being held at the Broward County Main Jail on $150,000 bond on a charge of Oxycodone trafficking, jail records showed.

BSO investigators taped a conversation Fowler had with an informant as he allegedly handed over the HIV drugs Wednesday. Fowler was signing out medications that were unclaimed by the jail inmates who were supposed to receive them, the BSO said.

"He works with folks in the jail, and then when they're released, if they do not come back and pick up their medications, those are the medications that are being diverted,” said the BSO’s Donald Harris, who is commander of the Metro Broward Drug Task Force.

The health department said in a statement Thursday that the HIV medications did not belong to it.

Fowler made a revealing statement during his ride with the wired informant in Oakland Park, as heard on surveillance video.

"And the thing is, people who are on medication, they don't give a flying f***, so they, when I go pick up their medication, I bring 'em back to the office and they never come and claim them, and then I can't find 'em,” a man the BSO identified as Fowler said on the video.

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