MI AG removes 2 public administrators at heart of 7 Action News investigations into guardianship

Posted at 2:37 PM, Aug 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 15:04:09-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Michigan Attorney General's Office announced Friday it was relieving four southeast Michigan public administrators of their appointments, including two who have been at the heart of 7 Action News investigations into guardianship problems.

According to AG Dana Nessel, after taking a look at how to better serve and protect Michigan seniors, they relieved these four public administrators:

– Robert Kirk, who served 30 years in the Macomb Couty Probate Court
– John Yun, who served 18 years in Oakland County Probate Court
– Thomas Fraser, who served 14 years in the Oakland County Probate Court
– Jennifer Carney, who served four years with the Oakland County Probate Court

According to Nessel, there are 104 public administrators in the state who are appointed and tasked with one primary role: "representing deceased estates where this is no family, or where no estate has been opened."

The state authorizes the appointment of private attorneys in each county to handle the cases on an as-needed basis.

“Now that we’ve concluded our elder abuse listening tour, our office is taking a fresh look at how we provide critical services and resources to Michigan residents based on the feedback we received,” Nessel said. “After reevaluating our needs, we decided to relieve these public administrators of their appointments.”

Robert Kirk is married to Cathy Kirk, who owns a guardianship company called Caring Hearts Michigan Inc.

For months, 7 Investigator Heather Catallo has exposed problems with guardianship involving Caring Hearts Michigan and Cathy Kirk.

In 2017, Catallo also talked to Michigan families about losing their loved ones to guardianship. In one case, Fraser billed $17,131.22 in attorney fees.

You can read more on that coverage here.