"It's not the guardians you got to be aware of. It's more family members," said private, professional guardian Jared Shafer who went head to head with families who've accused him and other for-profit guardians of abusing power--exploiting those they're supposed to protect for their own financial gain.
"You used the money in their estate!" Elizabeth Indig shouted back. "...to get lawyers to prevent them....I'm sorry!. He started this!. Please!"
Shafer said the system isn't broken. He's pointing the finger back at families, saying they're upset because they didn't get their loved ones' money.
Indig has been fighting private guardian April Parks for years over a guardianship involving her mother.
"Using color of law she threatened me with prison if I interfered with her," says Indig. "Locked me out of the home. Took control the mail. Ignored the family trust and lost and or stole all of the assests of the trust."
Though emotions and tempers flared, public comment was welcome at today's inaugural Commission meeting, presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice James Hardesty.
"As many of you may know, following several news accounts addressing guardianship proceedings in our state as well as other information that the Supreme Court has become aware of."
The Commission's mission is to look at oversight and accountability within the state's flawed guardianship system and find ways to improve it.
Rick Black lost his father-in-law who died this month after fighting guardianship for nearly 2 years.
"We took Dad home to Pennsylvania and we buried him beside his wife Lillian just this past Saturday. The guardian did not assist in that effort. She did not send condolences. She did not attend the funeral. She called. She said, 'your father had died. Come get him.'"
The State Guardianship Commission will hold several more meetings to explore the system's shortcomings and is expected to come up with a final report of recommendations by December. We'll be following it every step of the way.