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Former Hebron official sentenced for stealing from client

Updated: April 28, 2013 6:39AM



Lake Superior Court Judge Sheila Moss sentenced a former attorney and elected official to three years for stealing from one of his former clients.

Michael B. Haughee, 61, who was tried and convicted in absentia last month, was ordered to serve two years in prison, and the remaining year on probation. Moss also ordered Haughee to pay the client $10,000 in restitution while he is on probation

Haughee, a former Hebron town councilman, represented himself in the case, which was filed in March 2008 on behalf of a woman who had hired Haughee to represent her in a December 2002 car accident in Merrillville. At the time, Haughee was practicing law from an office in Griffith. The woman became suspicious because Haughee wouldn’t show her any court documents in that case and a second lawsuit he filed for her stemming from a subsequent car crash.

The woman later discovered a copy of a $15,500 insurance settlement check for the first accident, which Haughee had endorsed and deposited into a trust account in January 2004 while claiming to have the woman’s power of attorney. The woman had never authorized Haughee to have power of attorney over her affairs.

Deputy prosecutors Brandy Darling and Tom S. Mullins prosecuted the case, which was reassigned to Moss in 2011 after Judge Nicholas Schiralli recused himself because of a conflict of interest.

Haughee was allowed to remain free pending his sentencing hearing that was set for March 6, but he failed to appear and was arrested last week in Tell City, Ind., where he has pending felony cases, including failure to register as a sex offender. Haughee’s law license is suspended.

In Porter County, Haughee was convicted of sexual battery involving a woman in a wheelchair who said Haughee kissed her, fondled her and took the phone from her to prevent her from calling 911. In that case, prosecutors told the jury Haughee apologized before he left the woman’s home and offered to make her a salmon dinner. Haughee was sentenced to one year in jail for that case.



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