A Beloit attorney facing a two-month license suspension is admitting to allegations of misconduct but contending that she does not need to pay restitution to clients.
The Office of Lawyer Regulation filed a complaint in September charging Suzanne Kitto with five counts of misconduct, all of which stemmed from collection work she had done starting in 2013 on a land contract for a couple.
The allegations include that she used more that $10,000 from her trust account to pay her real-estate taxes, office rent and personal debts. The OLR alleges much of that money belongs to the couple and that Kitto still owes a client $1,674.93. The agency is seeking a 60-day suspension of her license.
Kitto filed an answer to the charges in October, admitting to the five rule violations alleged by the OLR.
However, Kitto contends that her conduct warrants a public reprimand, which would not involve any bar on her practicing law. Instead, the final decision on the case would be made a public record.
Also according to her filing, she has already paid more than $10,300 in restitution to the clients named in the complaint.
The Supreme Court in November appointed William Eich to be the referee who will preside over the proceeding.
Eich will first weigh in on the case and make a recommendation concerning whether misconduct was committed, whether disciplinary action is appropriate and what costs and restitution Kitto should pay. Kitto would be able to appeal Eich’s recommendations.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court will review those findings and issue a final decision in the matter.Follow @erikastrebel