The Florida Times-Union by Andrew Pantazi
August 1, 2019
After former Public Defender Matt Shirk was ousted from office in 2016, he spent or gave away tens of thousands of dollars on himself and his friends, including handing nine state-owned firearms to a motorcycle club without documentation.
A new Florida Auditor General’s report, the culmination of more than two years of investigation, details the repeated ways that Shirk violated state law or policy before and after his failed August 2016 re-election bid.
The report details how Shirk used state employees to staff his personal nonprofit, Vision for Excellence, including assigning attorneys to work at fundraising events.
Because that nonprofit receives less than $50,000 a year, its financial records, unlike other nonprofits, are not publicly available from the Internal Revenue Service. This makes it unclear whether Shirk was paying himself a salary from the nonprofit.
The auditor estimated the value of time Shirk’s employees worked at his nonprofit as more than $14,000.
Shirk did not return requests for comment Thursday morning, and he has not responded to any requests for comment since he left office in January 2017.
The Times-Union asked Thursday morning if the State Attorney’s Office will review the report for potential crimes committed. The office did not respond.