An Orlando judge has ordered the removal of a professional guardian who has clients in Volusia County.
Judge Janet Thorpe of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Orange County cited four reasons in her July 11 decision to revoke Rebecca Fierle’s guardian status in 98 cases in the Ninth Circuit.
Thorpe said Fierle had executed “do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders against family and court permission, had been compensated as a caseworker without disclosing it, had failed to disclose interests and employees, and had violated the Professional Guardian’s Standard of Practice, which is part of Florida’s administrative code.
Professional guardians are surrogates for “wards,” managing their property and making medical decisions for them. Wards are individuals who have been found to be incapable of making their own decisions, and who do not have family members, friends or others who are able or willing to take care of their financial and physical needs.
In Volusia County, Circuit Judge Margaret Hudson has set a hearing on Fierle’s guardian status and Fierle's Volusia County cases. The hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday, July 29, at the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand.
Fierle has been found by state investigators to have executed a DNR in at least one case against the wishes of the family and the wishes of the ward.
All of the DNRs filed in Fierle’s active cases have been revoked. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs website shows that Fierle has wards in 14 Florida counties.
A search of the clerk’s records in Volusia County shows Fierle has 25 cases filed here, in the Seventh Judicial Circuit, either in her role as a professional guardian or as a petitioner on behalf of a ward.
Eight of those cases are still open, some of which will be the subjects of the July 29 hearing.