Six state employees are out of a job following an investigation that found them selling, sharing or buying prescription drugs from each other in state buildings, the Channel 4 I-Team has learned.
The employees were caught because they used state email to make the drug transactions, according to internal records obtained by the Channel 4 I-Team.
Those records show one employee used the term "candy" to try to cover up what she was soliciting.
Another record shows an employee emailing her boyfriend, writing she was "selling to all the junkies up here."
And another employee identified herself in an email as the contact person to collect money.
All the employees were either in clerical or administrative positions with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, and made the drug transactions in the Andrew Johnson building and the Davy Crockett building in downtown Nashville.
"They were clearly engaging in activity that we can't allow in the workplace," said Steven Majchrzak, deputy commissioner of Commerce and Insurance
According to state investigators, some of the drugs sold were major painkillers like Soma and Neurontin.
"This was obviously some people who got into a situation and it could happen in any organization where you have people who don't do the right thing," Majchrzak said.
One employee who appealed the termination said she was battling Stage 3 cervical cancer and would never sell her medications.
But her firing was upheld, and the five others resigned, and now the TBI is investigating all the employees after a request from the district attorney and the Department of Commerce and Insurance.
"Anytime you're talking about prescription drugs, not over the counter, now you're talking about potential criminal violations," Majchrzak said.
The Channel 4 I-Team is not identifying the employees because we could not reach them for comment and they haven't been charged criminally.
A spokeswoman for the TBI said their investigation is ongoing.
Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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