Duval Dems Call For Investigation Into Public Defender's Office

Aug 27, 2013

Matt Shirk

The chairman of the Duval County Democratic Party is calling for Governor Rick Scott to suspend Jacksonville Public Defender Matt Shirk while an independent investigation is conducted looking into recent allegations of professional misconduct and records tampering.

Chairman Neil Henrichsen released a statement this afternoon calling recently publishwed reports by the Florida Times-Union regarding the destruction of public documents, "deeply concerning and a betrayal of the public trust."

Henrichsen also called on Scott to appoint a state attorney outside the state's Fourth Judicial Circuit, which includes Jacksonville, to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations.

If the allegations are proven true, Henrichsen said Shirk should resign immediately.

"If taxpayer funds are being mishandled and there are unlawful practices, citizens are entitled to accountability," he said.

A report published today by the Florida Times-Union alleges that someone in Shirk's office had tried to destroy records that showed Shirk's wife was issued an access badge for the office.