By Darren McRoy
A hearing board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has recommended that Oak Brook lawyer and Burr Ridge resident Kathleen Niew, also a former author and radio host, be disbarred.
“This Panel finds by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent engaged in…. misconduct as charged,” the board declared Monday.
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 due to a failed real-estate investment. 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 Chicago Tribune discoveredlawsuits 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 official alleged she attempted to "hinder, delay or defraud" a client's creditors.
Filings show that neither Niew nor anyone representing her were present at a June 27 hearing before the board.
According to the Tribune, final action to forbid Niew from practicing law in Illinois rests with the state Supreme Court. (Niew was suspended from practice in May. She has not been charged with a 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.
Niew's book Money-keeping for Modern Times was published in 2004. She also hosted a radio program called "Earn It. Keep It. Grow It.”