Investigation continues into reports of nurse impostor

2013-05-13T16:00:00Z 2014-05-15T11:56:05Z Investigation continues into reports of nurse impostorBy GREG TUTTLE and CINDY UKEN gtuttle@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

The Billings Police Department continues its investigation two weeks after the public learned that a woman had been reported impersonating a nurse at a local hospital.

Police Chief Rich St. John said Monday that detectives are waiting for further information from Billings Clinic to help them determine whether a crime was committed by a woman who may have posed as a nurse.

"Right now we don't have any definitive crime that we can move on that we know of," St. John said. "We're waiting for more information."

Julie Burton, communications director for Billings Clinic, said Monday that the hospital is "actively cooperating with the police to help them in every way we can with their investigation."

The issue surfaced publicly on April 29 when The Billings Gazette reported that St. Vincent Healthcare had sent employees a memo warning that a woman had been posing as a nurse at Billings Clinic.

The memo, which identified the woman as Angela Corson-Smith, stated she had claimed at various times to be a physician assistant student, a nurse practitioner student, a neonatal intensive care unit nurse and the director of nursing.

The woman had also accompanied physicians as they checked on patients, and was believed to have some medical background, the memo stated.

The woman also goes by the names Angela Hanson and Angela Smith, according to the memo, which also included several photos of the woman.

Contacted by the The Gazette, Corson-Smith declined to comment and referred questions to Billings attorney Gregory Johnson. He said two weeks ago that he had just met Corson-Smith, but believed she would be exonerated "in the full course of things."

On Monday, Johnson said he had no additional comment.

St. John said the aim of the Police Department's investigation is to determine whether there was a breach of patient confidentiality.

If there was a violation, St. John said, the next step will be to determine whether a crime occurred and if so, who will prosecute the case.

St. John said his department will continue to consult with the Yellowstone County Attorney's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office as the investigation progresses.    

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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