Public defender's wife files for divorce

Matt Shirk's office investigated earlier this year

Author: Christopher Yazbec, News editor, News4Jax.com, cyazbec@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 16 2013 11:28:10 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 16 2013 08:53:56 PM EST
Matt and Michelle Shirk
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The wife of Duval County Public Defender Matt Shirk has filed for divorce.

Court papers show Michelle Shirk wants alimony, child support and exclusive ownership of the home. She also wants Matt Shirk to pay all legal fees.

According to court documents, Michelle Shirk said the couple's nearly 10-year marriage is "irretrievably broken."

A spokesman for the Public Defender's Office had no comment, saying it's a personal matter, as did Matt Shirk's attorney, Gene Nichols.

"This is a personal matter of the Shirk family, and we would request this matter be allowed to run its course privately," Nichols said in a statement.

Samuel Jacobson, Michelle Shirk's attorney, also had no comment.

DOCUMENT: Complaint for dissolution of marriage

Earlier this year, the governor appointed a special investigator to look into suspected improprieties and the deletion of public records in Shirk's office.

Three female employees were fired in June, and Shirk's wife publicly confronted one of the women in the office, demanding she be fired, according to documents and statements by former employees.

This past summer, a Florida Times-Union investigation showed Matt Shirk was involved in hiring two former employees from a local bar.

Documents showed several texts from employee Tiffney Ice that were flirtatious in nature. Matt Shirk has admitted some of his texts to the women were inappropriate.

Special prosecutor Bill Cervone said his office hopes to wrap up its investigation either next month or in February.