The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 18, 2013

Joplin attorney’s law license suspended

The Missouri Supreme Court temporarily suspended Joplin attorney Dan Whitworth’s law license Friday while he remains under investigation in connection with the forging of endorsements on checks and stolen client funds.

The state’s high court ordered the interim suspension of Whitworth’s license that the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel had sought in documents filed with the court Oct. 7.

Those documents alleged that Whitworth has engaged in several instances of “serious professional misconduct” and that he posed “a substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public.”

The Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel initiated its latest probe of Whitworth when Mid-Missouri Bank notified the office on May 22, 2013, that a trust account held by Whitworth held insufficient funds to cover a reversal of a $60,000 deposit he made into the account in June of the preceding year.

The bank had been presented with an affidavit of forgery regarding the endorsement on the check, which represented the final payment to Lyddon Aero Center of its settlement of a lawsuit against LP&F Trucking Inc., a company owned by the late Joplin businessman G.W. Jackson. The purported endorsement of the check by the owner of Lyddon Aero Center had been forged, according to information filed on behalf of the chief disciplinary counsel.

An investigator with the office pulled the bank records of the trust account for the period of Jan. 1, 2010, through April 2013 and found evidence of “forged check endorsements and court documents and misappropriated funds.”

The investigator learned that a portion of the lawsuit settlement had been used to pay the tax debts of another client, whose prior payments to the attorney had been used for still other purposes. There was also evidence that he misappropriated funds of clients in a workers’ compensation case and a probate case.

Since the chief disciplinary counsel filed its request with the court, two of those past clients have reported being contacted by a law enforcement agency. One of them identified the agency as the Missouri State Highway Patrol, suggesting that a criminal investigation of Whitworth is under way. But no charges have been brought against him.

Prior measures

Dan Whitworth was reprimanded by the Missouri Supreme Court in 2008 for failing to have a written fee agreement in a contingency case and failing to communicate with a client regarding official notices in a case before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also has been admonished by the court on four other occasions.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter