ORLANDO, Fla. — Our Spectrum News Watchdog team has been looking into the accusations surrounding former professional guardian Rebecca Fierle for months now.
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Now, a growing number of people are coming forward about the issues they’ve experienced with Florida's guardianship programs.
Many came together in Orlando Monday for a town hall conducted by Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship.
The town hall was an opportunity for those to share their stories about the guardianship program and try to come up with ways to improve it.
Cristi Kessler said in 2014, her father was put into the guardianship program and had many problems. Kessler claimed thousands of dollars were stolen from him under the guardianship.
Hillary Hogue said her father was also put into guardianship after going before a judge. Hogue said it was a nightmare and had to hire a lawyer to get him out, and it’s still been difficult.
“He is out of his self-worth, he is out of his pride, he hasn't been out of the house for seven months without the exception of going to the doctors,” Hogue said.
Many also gave their own opinions on what they want to see improved.
“I blame the guardians, but also blame the judges,” Hogue said.
Dr. Sam Sugar with Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship said they’re working to improve the system by forming a new program that investigates cases and helps people with accusations of guardian wrong doing.