The Davidson County Public Guardian — a sort-of conservator for the family-less — has a pretty good gig:
She billed five hours — $986 — to accompany one of her wards to a performance of Handel’s Messiah. She charged the same woman $1,282 to take her to Dillard’s, Walgreens and lunch, and for the same day, billed her $1,183 for a shopping trip to CoolSprings Galleria, according to a fee affidavit filed in court records.
At least twice, Stuart charged $400 to attend the funerals of her wards.
And in several cases, Stuart billed her wards for Christmas presents she bought for them — blankets, comforters and afghans embroidered with their initials.
Stuart defends her fees, saying they are “below the highest rates charged in Davidson County” in conservator cases and said she is often not paid because many of her wards don’t have enough money.