Lawsuit against Public Defender Matt Shirk dismissed
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A federal lawsuit brought against Duval County Public Defender Matt Shirk by an employee claiming she was sexually harassed has been dismissed.
According to Shirk's attorney the suit was dismissed by U.S. Judge Brian Davis last month, but that was made public Friday.
Shirk was being sued by former employee Tiffany Ice, who claimed she was sexually harassed by Shirk while she was working for him. Ice claimed it was a hostile work environment and claimed she was libeled by Shirk.
In the lawsuit, Ice claimed that Shirk suggested they take a shower together in his private office. Ice and two other women were fired two years ago after Shirk's wife came to the office and complained about the women.
DOCUMENT: Lawsuit dismissed against Shirk
Davis' ruling lists numerous reasons why he believes Ice was not discriminated against by Shirk. The judge wrote that her case does not amount to discrimination under Title 7.
Shirk's attorney, Gene Nichols, issued a statement on his behalf:
"Mr. Shirk was made aware of the ruling by Judge Davis a few weeks ago. Mr. Shirk is pleased to have this matter finally fully behind him so he can continue to lead an outstanding group of dedicated attorneys serving those most in need of legal representation."
News4Jax has asked Ice's attorney, Bill Sheppard, for comment. That will be added to the article if and when he responds.
A Duval County grand hury issued a scathing report last December about the incident and urged Shirk to resign. Shirk said he would not. He has not said if he plans to run for re-election next year.