Former clerk charged in theft from county retirement fund

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An Oakdale woman was arraigned Wednesday on a charge that she stole more than $11,000 from the Allegheny County Retirement System by giving herself unauthorized pay raises.

Barbara Bateman, 42, faces an Oct. 29 preliminary hearing on one count of theft by unlawful taking. Her attorney, Robert Crisanti, said she believes she is the victim of a "political witch hunt."

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."

Mr. Crisanti said Thursday his client told him that documentation will prove she was authorized to the pay levels she received, but he had not seen any documentation as he had only recently been retained.

region

First Published October 17, 2013 8:00 PM


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