Documents released in Shirk investigation

By Kumasi Aaron, Reporter, weekend anchor, kaaron@wjxt.com
Published On: Sep 25 2013 05:58:45 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 25 2013 11:58:41 PM EDT

We're continuing to look into some documents released Wednesday relating to the investigation into Public Defender Matt Shirk.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Public Defender's Office released new documents Wednesday related to the investigation into Public Defender Matt Shirk.

A special prosecutor was appointed to look into possible wrongdoing in the office.

The documents include hundreds of emails, as well as resignation letters and text messages.

First is Kaylee Chester. In a letter dated June 17, Ron Mallett, Shirk's chief of staff, writes that she's been terminated immediately. Mallett doesn't give a reason why but says, "Kayle, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors."

The termination letter written to Kristal Coggins is almost identical. It was written the same day, and Mallett also wishes Krystal the "best of luck in your future endeavors."

But the letter Mallett writes terminating Tiffany Ice is different.

It's written on June 25, more than a week after the termination letters of the other two women. And it gives a reason for her termination as "continuing inability to perform the duties of her position at Intake."

Mallett says after her probation was extended because of numerous errors during her initial evaluation period, she got the chance to improve her performance with additional training.

Mallett goes on to say, "Your errors continued culminating on June 14th, 2013 with a counseling, additional training, and a move to a location with increased supervision. Despite this your errors have continued and therefore your employment is being terminated today."

June 14th is one day after Shirk's wife, Michelle went to the Public Defender's Office confronting Ice, telling her she was fired.

On June 16, Matt Shirk sent an email to Mallet about Ice, saying, "I think we need to get rid of her. She's been a horrible employee from the beginning. We can't wait on it. Please terminate her tomorrow as well."

About a month after these allegations into Matt Shirk and potential wrongdoing came to light, Matt Shirk sent out an email to state officials, which read, "I will no longer use government email. Effective immediately. I have also returned my government cell phone. Effective immediately, please only use my personal cell number."

Channel 4 also took a closer look also take a look at some of the individuals who were fired from the Public Defender's office.

Jessica Rose and Kristal Coggins were both fired and found out through a letter that was sent to them. That letter never gave any reason why but only said, "We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors."

Channel 4 also got to look at the women's resumes, and they have very different degrees of experience.

Rose's resume is long, showing that she not only went to law school, but was a member of the Bar, and had worked with the assistant state attorney in West Palm Beach.

Now, on the other hand, Coggins' resume is considerably different. It shows that she worked as a server at Whisky River, worked for Panera Bread and the Coastal Cottage. It also shows no college education and no experience in the legal field.

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