Local News

Clinton High School Principal Arrested on Drug Charges

Posted October 1, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Authorities say they found 251 forged prescription forms in the brief case of a school principal charged with trying to get prescription drugs illegally.

Clinton High School principal Carl Herman has been suspended without pay from his job and has checked into a drug treatment center at Duke University Medical Center.

Herman faces 14 counts for forging prescriptions for Ritalin and Hydrocordone, a pain killer. A pharmacist at a Revco drug store in Smithfield got suspicious of Herman and called police.

Authorities say Herman used as many as 60 aliases at 101 different pharmacies, and forged the signatures of at least 25 physicians, including that of Dr. Allen Mask, a member of WRAL TV5's Health Team.

Mask says he feels violated that his name was used and worries that this sort of incident makes it increasingly more difficult for people who need medication to easily get it. Mask says such forgeries happen more often than people think.

Mask said he could not find Herman's name in the computer at Raleigh Urgent Care Center, where Mask is medical director. That, he says, indicates probable use of an alias.

Physicians each have a number issued by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency which authorizes them to write prescriptions. Forgers will often steal pads and use false DEA numbers and false names.

A licensed pharmacist and member of the WRAL Health Team, Alicia Underwood says those who want to get drugs by fraudulent means have many ways.

Underwood says pharmacists look for errors on the forms like incorrect spelling, and larger than normal quantities of prescription drugs.

Deputies say they think that Herman had been forging prescriptions since April.

Herman's lawyer, Doug Parsons, says his client was addicted to pain killers and couldn't get enough of them.