ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 73-year-old grandmother with bipolar disorder has filed a federal lawsuit alleging she was kept in solitary confinement for more than a month at the state women’s prison after a popular antacid led to a false positive on a drug test.
Carol Lester, the former executive director of the Ruidoso Board of Realtors, says she was in solitary lockup for longer than prison policy allowed and wasn’t given her medications for mental and physical illnesses, including a heart ailment.
Lester, who has since been released from prison, was serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to embezzling money to support a slot machine gambling addiction, according to her lawsuit. Newspaper accounts at the time said she embezzled more than $100,000 from the board.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court last month, alleges Lester was put in segregation at the New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility in Grants two years ago as the result of a false positive urine test for drugs. Lester says she was given the test after complaining about inadequate medical care for prisoners.