2 employees fired by public defender offered jobs by Angela Corey

Public defender fires 4 employees after primary loss


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two of the four employees fired last week by the Public Defender's Office may soon be working for State Attorney Angela Corey.

Joe Frasier and Angela Fouraker are going through the hiring process at the 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office, the office's spokesperson confirmed to News4Jax Tuesday.

The Public Defender's Office fired four employees on Wednesday, one day after retired Judge Charlie Cofer soundly defeated Public Defender Matt Shirk in the Republican primary in the 4th Judicial Circuit.

A spokesman told News4Jax that the personnel changes are not politically motivated, but the result of ongoing personnel issues.

"It is the policy of the Public Defender’s Office not to comment on personnel matters. In light of the specific accusation being alleged by former disgruntled employees our office will only add that employee retention is based on professional performance and standard best business practices. The high bar for excellence that is expected of all employees of the Public Defender’s Office remains the same as when I set it upon taking office in 2009," Shirk said in a statement.

Cofer defeated Shirk 75 to 25 percent in the circuit, which includes Clay, Duval and Nassau counties. 

Cofer faces only a write-in candidate in November.

Shirk was investigated by a special prosecutor and grand jury in 2014, which found no criminal wrongdoing, but was highly critical of his handling of employees, particularly three women. 

Shirk will serve out his term, through the beginning of January 2017.

Corey was also defeated by challenger Melissa Nelson, 64 to 26 percent, in the primary.