Matt Shirk settles with committee on 3 violations of ethics law

Ex-public defender fined $6K, censured and reprimanded

By Eric Wallace - Senior Producer, I-TEAM, Nick Jones - Digital producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Ex-public defender Matt Shirk has officially settled with the Florida Commission on Ethics over three violations of state ethics laws.

Friday morning in Tallahassee, the commission voted to accept the settlement he agreed to in August. The deal includes a $6,000 fine, a public censure and reprimand.

Under the agreement, Shirk has admitted to three violations: That he broke state law by hiring three women outside of normal hiring practices, that he broke state law by serving or consuming alcohol inside a city building contrary to state rules and that he violated attorney-client privilege when he revealed information about the Cristian Ferandnez case to a documentary crew.

Shirk left office after losing in the 2016 election. A state auditor's report detailed questionable spending before Shirk left office. The state attorney for the Gainesville area has been assigned to handle any investigation or prosecution that comes out of that report.

RELATED: Wasteful spending & freebies: How Matt Shirk left office

Shirk is also still under investigation by the Florida Bar. That investigation is under review by a grievance committee.

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