Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2013, 8:04 pm

Aledo attorney's law license suspended for 30 days

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By Stephen Elliott, selliott@qconline.com

An Aledo attorney has had his law license suspended for 30 days after the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission said he collected an unreasonable executor's fee.

The suspension starts on Feb. 8. The ARDC said Dwight Shoemaker, who was licensed to practice in 1968, also must make restitution.

According to the ARDC, Mr. Shoemaker paid himself $35,000 in executor fees and $65,000 in attorney fees in the same probate case, and failed to make reasonable efforts to close the estate, according to the ARDC.

The ARDC investigates alleged wrongdoing by Illinois attorneys, holds hearings on specific charges and recommends discipline where warranted.The Supreme Court is the only authority that can discipline lawyers for misconduct, according to the ARDC.

The ARDC complaint filed on July 11, 2011, alleges Mr. Shoemaker prepared a will for Olga C. Lowry in September 1991 that named Mr. Shoemaker as executor of her estate.She died on Nov. 19, 1998, with a $1.5 million estate that primarily consisted of certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, a money market account and a few personal property items, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges on Nov. 1 and 2, 1999, Mr. Shoemaker paid himself $35,000 from the estate for his services as executor and $65,000 for his attorney's services.At that time, he provided no documentation of his work for the estate to the beneficiaries, the complaint states.

The Supreme Court could have imposed other sanctions against Mr. Shoemaker, including reprimand, probation or disbarment.

Mr. Shoemaker, who is a member of the Mercer County School Board, could not be reached for comment on Friday.