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Disgruntled health worker lies to patients, says they need lobotomies

Michelle Morrison. | Cook County Sheriff's Department Photo

Michelle Morrison. | Cook County Sheriff's Department Photo

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Updated: August 22, 2012 7:12PM

A disgruntled former Alexian Brothers employee allegedly stole the company’s medical records and stationery — and then told three patients they needed lobotomies because their therapies weren’t working, authorities said.

Her lies to the patients were meant to embarrass the suburban hospital for firing her, authorities said.

They not only “devastated” the patients, they also got her arrested and charged with forgery.

Michelle Morrison, 52, admitted she typed out the letters, telling the Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital patients that their electroshock therapy treatment did not work and that it was recommended that they undergo frontal lobotomies, according to Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

Morrison was apparently still smarting over the loss of her job as a senior account representative at the Hoffman Estates facility, authorities said.

But her bitterness from her 2010 firing “devastated” the patients, said Frank Bilecki, a Cook County’s Sheriff’s spokesman.

Morrison, of Elk Grove Village, had been with the hospital for five years, but did not have a clinical role or direct contact with patients, a statement from Alexian Brothers said.

The patients Morrison had allegedly corresponded with had contacted Alexian Brothers. Through an internal investigation, hospital officials were able to track down the alleged culprit and contacted the sheriff’s office. Morrison’s home was searched on Monday.

Inside, Cook County sheriff’s detectives said they found copies of patient files, blank letterheads, envelopes, mailing labels and other miscellaneous paperwork.

Morrison allegedly made verbal and written confessions to police.

So far, investigators know of six letters Morrison had sent between Feb. 5, 2011, and June 25, 2012, Bilecki said.

However, more paperwork has been recovered and additional charges could be filed, Bilecki said.

Some of the letters included vulgar comments and threats of exposing sensitive information to the victims’ families, the sheriff’s office said.

At the Rolling Meadows Courthouse Wednesday morning, Judge Jill Cerone-Marisie ordered Morrison held in lieu of $50,000 bail for three counts of forgery.

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