WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – A client tells FactFinder 12 he was contacted by an investigator looking for Wichita attorney Devoe Treadwell.
Customers have accused Treadwell of taking their money and then not showing up on their behalf. The Office of the Attorney General investigates complaints against Kansas attorneys but does not approve active investigations.
Since our first article published last weekwe are hearing from many people who say Treadwell took their money too.
“Eight thousand dollars. He wanted $10,000 but when he found out we could pay first, he lowered it to eight. We wrote a check that day,” said Steve Bugner who hired Treadwell as his agent.
He said Treadwell appeared in one court appearance.
“That was the last time I talked to him,” Bugner said.
Like others we spoke to, Bugner said he could not reach Treadwell at his office in downtown Wichita.
“We kept driving. That’s when my husband saw the UPS on the door. It was November and December last year,” Bugner said.
Another customer, who wanted to protect his identity, paid more.
“The first day of my trial is August. He was there for that, but I never heard from him again,” said the man who paid Treadwell $20,000 and has a receipt to prove it. Both men said they have filed complaints with the state disciplinary office. Bugner said he was interviewed by an investigator.
Unlike other customers, Bugner found Treadwell in his office one day.
“He was not happy to see us. He asked if we wanted a refund,” Bugner said.
Bugner said they were kicked out of the office, but after giving Treadwell a letter requesting reimbursement, they received a check for $7,500.
Although he got most of his money back, he knows that other customers didn’t get anything.
“I don’t know what kind of problem Mr. Treadwell, but I think he knows you don’t leave people hanging like you do.. It’s so wrong,” said Bugner.
Treadwell did not want to answer questions when we caught up with him at his home earlier this month. Treadwell is still listed in “good standing” with the Kansas Judicial Center Attorney Registration. No recent criminal charges have been brought against Treadwell, but any current investigation is not public.
However, the Wichita Bar Association is currently working with those affected. They encourage those customers to reach their office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-263-2251.
Financial assistance may also be available to clients through the Kansas Client Protection Fund. The money, overseen by a commission, compensates people who suffer economic losses due to the dishonesty of Kansas attorneys. Consumers can file complaints against licensed Kansas attorneys. Such complaints must be in writing and filed with the Office of the Administrator. Information can be found at www.kscourts.org.
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