The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has filed a rare petition to immediately suspend the law license of Kathleen Niew, the Oak Brook-based lawyer and radio host from Burr Ridge accused of mishandling millions in clients’ funds, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Along with her husband Stanley, Niew, 56, was found partially liable in February for $2.3 million in damages to an Oak Park couple’s trust. According to the suit, Niew persuaded them to transfer $2.3 million into trust accounts she managed before her firm removed the money and used those funds for their own benefit.
Niew also had her license to sell insurance revoked in February; the Tribune discovered lawsuits that "allege she improperly took hundreds of thousands of dollars from other clients and failed to disclose insurance commissions." The newspaper also discovered a $43,500 settlement paid by Niew after a bankruptcy offical alleged she attempted to "hinder, delay or defraud" a client's creditors.
In its filing last Wednesday to recommend immediate suspension, the ARDC said that Niew nvolves "poses a threat to her present or future clients who might entrust her with their funds” and “presents a continuing danger to the public,” the paper said, though she has not been charged with any crime.
According to her profile on The Niew Group's website, Kathleen Niew attended Hinsdale Central High School, before the University of Iowa and Northern Illinois University College of Law.
"With a focus on Estate Planning and Probate Law, Kathleen established her practice in 1984 and has been an attorney for more than twenty-seven years," the profile reads. "In 2005, she was selected as the 2005 Republican Business Woman of the year and in 2006 she received the Ronald Reagan Congressional Gold Medal."