Urine tech enters plea after allegedly taking money from parolee - WNEM TV 5

Urine tech enters plea after allegedly taking money from parolees to forge clean drug tests

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A man contracted by the state has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges for allegedly taking money from parolees to forge clean drug tests.

Ronald McKethern, 58, a urine technician from Saginaw, worked for Bay Technical Staffing, a company contracted by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

MDOC investigators suspected McKethern was taking money from parolees in exchange for reporting negative drug tests, police said, adding he never actually performed the screening.

The Michigan State Police conducted an undercover investigation on the allegations. During the investigation McKethern admitted to accepting money in exchange for clean urine reports, police said.

He was arrested after allegedly requesting $50 from an undercover police detective posing as a parolee in exchange for a clean drug test.

Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel said this is one of the potential problems with a private company doing drug tests, as opposed to police.

"We give them the opportunity to come in, encouraging them not to use drugs or alcohol that they've been instructed not to use, and in the event that they choose to use drugs, at that point we can catch them," Federspiel said.

McKethern was found to be in possession of a large amount of cash, police said.

He's scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 29, and could see up to nine months in jail, plus probation.

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