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Mary Angela Hughes, 9419029
The Member admitted that she engaged in professional misconduct by being found guilty of an offence relevant to her suitability to practice nursing, specifically, defrauding a patient’s spouse of a sum exceeding $5000 by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means contrary to section 380 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
The College of Nurses of Ontario (“CNO”) and the Member presented the Panel with a Joint Submission requesting that the Panel make an order that included the following:
- an oral reprimand;
- a five-month suspension;
- terms, conditions and limitations, including:
- attending two meetings with a Regulatory Expert;
- employer notification for 18 months; and
- no independent practice for 12 months.
Aggravating factors considered by the Panel included:
- the fact that the Member defrauded the spouse of a former patient, in that the Member would not have met the victim except through her nursing position; and
- the Member intentionally exploited the trust of the victim for her own personal gain.
Mitigating factors considered by the Panel included:
- the issues arose during a troubling period in the Member’s life;
- the Member was deeply remorseful;
- the Member cooperated with CNO processes and admitted the allegations; and
- the Member had no prior history before the Discipline Committee.
The Panel accepted the Joint Submission, concluding that the proposed penalty was reasonable and in the public interest.