Licensing board OKs application by woman convicted of charity theft

By: - February 20, 2022 9:00 am

(Photo by Getty Images)

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy says a woman convicted of stealing $3,486 from a cancer charity can now work as a state-approved pharmacy technician.

State records indicate the board recently approved LeAnne Hicks’ application to work in Iowa as a state-registered pharmacy technician. The approval requires Hicks to report to all future pharmacy employers her 2017 conviction for theft.

LeAnne Hicks (Photo from Iowa District Court records)

That conviction stemmed from allegations that while working as president of a cancer-related nonprofit organization, Buddies for Boobies, she wrote checks on the organization’s account for her own benefit and converted other money collected through the organization’s fundraising activities to her own use. The losses sustained by the organization totaled $3,486.

At the time the crimes took place, Hicks had been employed by Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in Mason City. Court records indicate her initial defense to some of the allegations of theft was that during the course of her employment, she befriended breast cancer patients and provided them with cash cards purchased with funds from Buddies for Boobies.

She later pleaded guilty to a charge of felony theft and was sentenced to five years in prison. The prison term was suspended at the time of sentencing, and Hicks was placed on probation for five years. As part of her sentence, she also had to pay $3,486 in restitution to Buddies for Boobies. She was successfully discharged from probation after 13 months.

Court records indicate that in May 2020, Gov. Kim Reynolds restored Hicks’ citizenship, right to vote and right to hold public office.

Board approves application in separate case involving theft charges

In an unrelated matter, the pharmacy board recently approved Demetria Simpson’s application to work as a state-registered pharmacy support person.

The approval requires Simpson to report to all future pharmacy employers her 2019 conviction for theft, which stemmed from accusations that she stole $4,800 in merchandise or cash from a Coral Ridge Mall merchant in Coralville.

Court records also indicate that in 2018, Simpson was convicted of drunken driving after being pulled over with a blood-alcohol level of .266 – more than three times the legal limit for driving.

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.

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