Public defender's chief of staff to retire

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There was more fallout Friday in the Public Defender's Office.

Chief of Staff Ron Mallett has decided to retire at the end of the month.

Mallett, who's been with the office for five years, has been working with Public Defender Matt Shirk in the wake of a recent investigation. Staff members say Mallett was the one who ordered security badges be cleared for Shirk's wife to enter the building.

There is no word yet on a replacement.

Shirk has hired a private attorney to handle the case. So far that firm is not commenting. But Shirk did say in a phone interview earlier this week that information will be forthcoming and more will be made known as the investigation continues.

Shirk has been the target of a state investigation since a Florida Times-Union report questioning the hirings and firings of three young women from his office.

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