(Florida Times-Union) -- On Friday, the Florida Ethics Commission will meet, but former Public Defender Matt Shirk’s case won’t be brought up, as the commission waits to hear if he will agree to a $7,500 fine.
Last time the commission met, it rejected a settlement Shirk wanted to make related to allegations that he violated the public’s trust during his eight years in office. He had agreed to admit being in violation of three laws and to pay $2,500.
The commission unanimously rejected the settlement. At the time, Commission Chairman Matt Carlucci, a former Jacksonville city councilman, called the proposed settlement “weak,” and said though he’d tried to be kind to Shirk, “it’s just my opinion that $2,500 and a reprimand does not measure up to the ill repute that he cast upon this public office.”
The Attorney General’s Office said that it has proposed a new settlement. Shirk would pay $7,500 and “unequivocally admit to the violations.” Shirk has not yet told the office if he will accept it, and he did not respond to a request for comment.
The investigations into Shirk’s behavior began in 2013 after a series of stories in The Florida Times-Union revealed Shirk’s inappropriate relationships with women: hiring them based on their attractiveness, drinking with them in his office, inviting them to shower with him. Those stories revealed Shirk fired those women after his wife came into the office and demanded it, and then his chief of staff deleted public records.