Oakdale woman waives hearing in Allegheny County Retirement System theft case

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An Oakdale woman accused of stealing more than $11,000 from the Allegheny County Retirement System by giving herself unauthorized pay raises waived her preliminary hearing today.

Barbara Bateman, 42, faces a Jan. 13 formal arraignment on one count of theft by unlawful taking, according to online court records.

Ms. Bateman, who worked as a clerk for the Allegheny County Retirement Fund, was responsible for calling in payroll information to a company that was contracted to disburse pay for fund employees.

A detective with the Allegheny County district attorney's office wrote in an affidavit of probable cause that Ms. Bateman, without authorization, raised her annual pay scale, inappropriately collected a bonus at least once and gave herself a bonus meant for employees who opt out of the county's health benefit system, even though she remained enrolled.

The detective quoted her as saying that some of the transactions were "a mistake."

Ms. Bateman's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment this morning. He said last month that he believed Ms. Bateman was the victim of a "political witch hunt" and that Ms. Bateman told him documentation will prove the raises were approved.

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438. Twitter: @LizNavratil.

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