* GARY — The Indiana State Police have arrested an attorney and charged her with felony theft.
State police say attorney Ruth Batey cashed a check for $80,000 that was intended for her client, but she kept the proceeds.
The investigation by Detective Gary Runde began in January, when the Gary Police Department asked Indiana State Police to investigate this case involving an alleged theft of money by Batey from two Gary police employees.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Batey represented Shane and Robin Bolde, both Gary police officers. Shane Bolde was in a traffic accident while on duty on March 23, 2014. They signed a power of attorney for Batey to represent them in the case, the affidavit states.
In July 2015, they discovered that Farm Bureau Insurance had sent a settlement check to them in the amount of $80,000 made payable to Shane and Robin Bolde, and to Ruth Batey as their attorney. The check to the couple was dated July 9, 2014. The check had been signed by Batey and was deposited into her Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA), the affidavit states.
A second check issued by Farm Bureau General Insurance of Michigan in the amount of $8,750 was cashed and deposited into Batey's business account, the affidavit states. The affidavit said none of the money Batey received on behalf of the couple had been dispersed to the couple.
Batey, 46, of Gary, who practices law in Chicago, was taken to Lake County Jail in Crown Point and charged with Level 5 felony theft.
In a news release, Indiana State Police said it also was discovered Batey had a civil warrant. Batey was booked on a $20,000 bond plus an additional $500 bond on the civil warrant.
* The story and headline have been changed.