School Nurse Allegedly Forged Signatures

Posted: February 11, 2014 at 6:01 pm

According to court documents, there were multiple incidences in which Redoubt Elementary Nurse Donna Cotman forged parents’ signatures to reflect that students were exempt from immunizations due to religious reasons.


The investigation began after Sergeant Duane Kant of the Soldotna Police Department was approached by a student’s parent who believed someone had forged his wife’s signature on an immunization exemption form. After some examination, Kant served a search warrant for other records Cotman had been in charge of and determined a total of four forms had forged signatures.


Cotman’s Defense Attorney Peter Ehrhardt spoke with us about how the hearing went yesterday.


Ehrhardt: “Donna plead guilty to one misdemeanor and they dismissed four felony forgery counts. She plead to tampering with a public record and received a suspended imposition of sentence which means if she completes her probation she won’t have a criminal record.” 


Cotman also received a $1500 fine and 80 hours of community service but no jail time.

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13 Comments to “School Nurse Allegedly Forged Signatures”

  • Dave says:

    There it is! If you don’t thik our court system is seriously corrupt, then listen to what the defense attorney said, its right there in black & white. We need a new court system here

  • person says:

    what was her reasoning behind this? personal beliefs?

  • Jeff says:

    So does Donna still have a job as School Nurse? I would hope not! She should be sent packing with no pension! Why did the story not say a thing about the prosecuting attorney/state on at least trying to get one of the felony counts to stick? They caved in way to easy!! Rigged? And then no jail time or criminal record?

  • Mike says:

    Come on, they are all fishing buddies, laughing it up behind closed doors, making deals and planning fishing trips together. This is not an exaggeration in the slightest

  • SC says:

    Wow!! How can someone plead guilty to multiple felonies and walk away without even a criminal record? No jail time served? This will leave her free to practice unless her license is revoked. There is so little information in this article it just leaves me with so many questions. To be quite honest I am appalled at the outcome of this.

  • Robbert Banks says:

    SC – She plead guilty to a misdemeanor, and the felony charges were dismissed.

  • SH says:

    All you guys who made these comments don’t know her or the circumstances. She was told that if she continued to try and prove her innocence it would take another year and a half and $30,000 more on top of what she has already spent. Donna was a great school nurse and dedicated over 25 years to the students and staff of Redoubt Elementary.

  • E says:

    you people being rude to a great person and school nurse , I have worked with her for over 14 years, she was nothing but a honest person, who was wonderful to these kids, before you say all this stuff put yourself in her shoes you can’t fight the big people and prove your innocence with out having alot of money!! She has been at redout over 25 years that should show the dedication to the kids and school!

  • JCF says:

    I’m not sure of this situation, but my kids had her as a nurse and she required that my kids were up-to-date on their immunizations or would not allow them to attend. She always seemed very professional and the kids loved her. I’m not sure what happened here, but you can’t always believe everything you hear.

  • Robbert Banks says:

    SH – hit the nail on the head. They can load you up with charges and make it very expensive to defend yourself, plus the risk you may still lose, or you can accept the plea, significantly less expensive, and little to no risk of jail time.

  • elise says:

    OK.. Listen Up. I think the real issue here, from all the posts above, is that we aren’t blaming her, we’re actually mad at the courts. Our judicial system is horrible mess and so misunderstood as to WHY they do what they do. I am not blaming the PA or the Judge, attorneys or the city we live in.! Because we don’t actually have all the facts or any details, and have not heard from both sides of the story. Who are WE TO JUDGE?
    We are all trying to really understand what happened, what did she actually do?

    I commend those who are defending her. That’s very nice if you know her personally and know for a FACT that she is innocent. Don’t hide behind her sweetness and all that “kids love her” and how long she has been doing this school nurse job. And do we really know if they are all fishing buddies?
    Have you asked her WHY she was accused? What she actually did? Did you hear her side of the story? If you had, you would have mentioned it instead of saying there are so many gaps and plugs out of order. No details in this story.

    I was raised when the system didn’t fine you $5000 and reduce it to $1000. What gives? Why not just fine them $1000? Sentence them, then reduce sentence? 4 felony charges and walks with what? A slap on the wrist. If, and I say if she was to do this again, like many real criminals do, then what good is our system. What lesson did she learn?

    In high school we took a field trip to sit all day in a courtroom where Judge Hans Tanzler was the presiding judge. The one case that stood out the most was a man of about 30 yrs old was charged with selling marijuana. Not a small amount, seems like it was pounds. He was there to be sentenced that day. He stood up and faced the judge and was asked if he had anything more to say to plead his sentencing. The man said he learned his lesson and he was turning his life around. The judge gave him the maximum sentence 25 years. The man , shocked said “I can’t do 25 years.” The judge said, ” Okay,do what you can.” Back in my days, you danced to the song you wrote. That judge later became the Mayor of that city I grew up in. And he was HARD on the crime!!!! Always in the news stirring the fire under the PD.
    We all know that times have changed, but shouldn’t, because of the changes, the system be just a bit more strict?

    Folks, I’m merely saying in a long breath is that we maybe should focus on where the real problem is. If the parents of those children requested it, and though it is illegal, was her crime as bad as what our courts system did in this case. I am not really trying to come across as insulting to any one of you, but maybe we should filter our thoughts first. By meaning not to jump to conclusions. It’s not the crime we are voicing, it’s the court system. Anyone with me?

    Before we rally, let’s sit back and see what more comes at us. Then, remember…. who puts our officers of the court in office! Happy Valentines Day

  • Ruth says:

    Donna, I love you no matter what the circumstances. Our court system in this USA stinks,We as nurses always try to do what is right by our patients and in your case students, I for one, tired of all the burocracy, We have done our job, quite well I might add, time to retire and let the next generation take over, , GOD HELP US ALL !!!!

  • JCF says:


    I have heard things about this that say one parent falsely accused her of this and the evidence was very weak; however she was threatened with high court costs and losing retirement – or she could just accept it, resign and shut her mouth.

    You, who have no idea about any of this are worse than people who are defending her because they knew she was a very high-quality nurse. Did you ask yourself how a woman could work 25 years at a job and never have something like this happen?

    I didn’t say these things you have now made me say because I don’t like dealing with rumors, but now you forced me to. Do you understand that peole are falsely accused of things all of the time? Sometimes people’s careers and good name are ruined by selfish petty people?

    I know this nurse was not one of those wingnuts that think vaccines cause autism. She was very pro-vaccine which make this accusation against her seem even more unlikely.

    Again, you accusing her when you have no idea about any of this is worse than those who know her, her good character and the good job she did defending her.