January 4, 2017
by The Florida Times-Union’s Andrew Pantazi
After eight scandal-plagued years, former public defender Matt Shirk has said he’s hoping for some quiet. He may be disappointed.
Shirk has been protected from Florida Bar complaints by state rules that say the Bar doesn’t have jurisdiction over constitutional officers. Now that he’s left office, the Bar and the Florida Supreme Court may hear arguments that he violated attorneys’ code of conduct.
“We do have information about Mr. Shirk’s conduct,” Florida Bar spokeswoman Francine Walker said Wednesday. “We are reviewing it. We will take appropriate actions.”During his time in office, Shirk faced a grand jury that called on him to resign or be removed from office. The Florida Ethics Commission found probable cause he abused his power. And he re-hired a former law partner after the law partner was found to have stolen from clients.
If the Florida Bar and the state Supreme Court sustain allegations against Shirk, he could lose his law license. Even if he doesn’t, he may face an uphill battle restoring his reputation. [READ MORE]