Former public defender Matt Shirk pays fine in ethics violation case

Clark Fouraker is on your side. 4/6/2017

JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Former public defender Matt Shirk has agreed to a reprimand and to pay a fine after an investigation by the state ethics committee.

Shirk was accused in 2015 of misusing his position.

According to documents released by the State Ethics Commission, Shirk ultimately agreed to three different things he was accused of in a formal complaint and media reports.

First, he hired and later fired women based on their attractiveness, and in some cases, it was reported Shirk asked those women to shower with him at his office.

Second, he drank with those women in his city office which is against city code.

Finally, the documents say he agreed that he violated attorney client privilege when he participated in a documentary about Christian Fernandez. Fernandez was a 13-year-old who was accused of murder, tried as an adult and represented by Shirk.

Complaints against the former public defender say in the documentary, Shirk shared a conversation between he and Fernandez and violated privacy rights.

Because Shirk agreed to the allegations, the ethics commission won't have any more investigation on the issue. They'll meet later this month to confirm his punishment which documents say will be a public reprimand and penalty $2,500.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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