The State Attorney’s call for a special investigator in to the Public Defender’s Office has been answered.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed an executive order appointing 8th Circuit State Attorney Bill Cervone to conduct the investigation over “potential violations of public records laws and any related misconduct” by the office of Public Defender Matt Shirk.
Shirk has come under fire for multiple allegations, which include misconduct in the office, questionable hiring and firing practices, and more. There are also questions surrounding his office’s handling of public records requests. Our partner Action News has conducted a lengthy investigation during which Shirk’s office claimed certain records never existed but were in fact later recovered. A legal team from Rogers Towers has been retained to review public records management.
State Attorney Angela Corey recused herself from conducting the investigation because of a potential conflict of interest. Because Corey prosecutes many people represented by Shirk’s office, there are inherent problems that could have cast doubt over her investigation.
Scott is allowing up to a year for this investigation to take place.