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Shirk text to colleague: 'You backstabbing piece of garbage'

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Updated: 9/11/2013 7:47 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News has uncovered new email and text messages from public defender Matt Shirk.

The elected leader is accused of inappropriate behavior with his staff, including drinking in the office, questionable hirings and firings, and questionable use of taxpayer money which include building an office shower.

Action News has been investigating Shirk since summer. He's dodged our cameras and questions for the past seven weeks, but he can't dodge our public records request.

Lynnsey Gardner obtained text messages between Shirk and his chief investigator Alton Kelly Wednesday.

Kelly and a second investigator, Greg Strickland, said they both jumped ship because it was sinking. The two claim Shirk's integrity is in jeopardy.

Three young female staffers were fired in June, two of whom were hired by Shirk weeks earlier from the Whisky River Bar & Restaurant.

Sources told Action News the firings of the three young women came after a confrontation in the public defender's office between Shirk's wife, Michelle, and one of the three girls.

Shirk's wife, according to our sources, found a text message between Shirk and one of the women he worked with on his phone.

Action News does not have that text, but there are others between Shirk and Alton Kelly.

The story about questions surfacing about Shirk's broke on Aug. 25.

At 5:36 a.m., Shirk sent Kelly this text message:

"To think what I've done for you giving you a job paying 85K a year and it was about the most cushion job I could give to someone. and our frienship. And then when you left I paid out your leave time beause of the friendship because I didn't have to..and had not for many other employees.
And this is how you repay me?"

Shirk continues to write in the text:

"You are a no good backstabbing piece of garbage with ZERO integrity. ZERO. I always knew you were a lier (*misspelled in the text from Shirk) but I could deal with it. But you are something else."

This is just one of hundreds of texts and emails obtained by Action News.

Alton Kelly spoke with Lynnsey Gardner Wednesday afternoon.   He worked for more than three decades for JSO, and currently works for another local law enforcement agency.   He declined to go on camera because of an agreement with special prosecutor Bill Cervone, from Gainesville.

Watch our series of special reports on Action News.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

TOMMY - 9/13/2013 6:08 AM
0 Votes
Is this what we want to run our public defenders office? Also his ethic's are in question, he should be let go!

king kaos - 9/12/2013 3:39 PM
2 Votes
Lynnsey Gardner - What is the deal??? How about exposing REAL corruption and misuse of funds like your buddy A Cory is so well known for... A shower in the office, is it for everyone to use or just the Shirk dude? Also I would say the person he texted is a backstabber if he did take care of them like he said so whats your point??? How about Cory taking the giant bonus and not sharing with the rest of her folks, what about Cory and Zimmerman? If you want to report on something that matters, how about what scum that almost human half ape is??? Action News has been talking about this Shirk dude non stop for a month now and NOONE knows what the hell is going on AND NOONE CARES! IF he killed someone or if hes selling drugs out of his briefcase, thats a story. A beer in the office and a text message telling a female shes pretty IS NOTHING!

king kaos - 9/12/2013 3:32 PM
1 Vote
Agreed Realchange... who cares if the guy had a beer at lunch and said your pretty to someone. No one has sat in Jail due to this or had there life ruined for no other reason that political gain. How about the IT guy that Corey fired for answering questions??? How about the fact she goes on TV and acts like a complete fool and is caught LYING non stop. No no, lets not worry about the real corruption... lets get all up on Mr Matts butt for no reason that I can really see, or anything differect from what is happening in every office in every city in this country. Am I missing something? Was your friend the girl that got fired? Did you NOT get hit on by Matt and thats why you are so pissed? This is simply stupid and NOONE CARES except the one or 2 people I just described... You are making Action News look stupid and petty to everyone. If you have to re-describe why this is "such a big deal" everytime the story comes out, its probably not that big of a deal... get over it and move on!!! And to the Matt dude, good luck man and screw these jerks, this is ridiculous!!!

FlSunRise87 - 9/12/2013 10:34 AM
1 Vote
Realchange; there's days when your comments say everything I'm thinking lol Thank you!

Realchange - 9/12/2013 9:49 AM
2 Votes
Corey tried to railroad a man she knew to be innocent after reading Trayvon Martin's cell phone texts. Nelson helped her conceal this from the jury why is there no investigation into this? I could care less that guy is committing adultery as compared to an overzealous prosecutor that knew the person who attacked you had history for criminal activity and decides to try to destroy you anyways. Why is Action news not all over Corey over zealous prosecution and destruction of people?

TOMMY - 9/12/2013 6:57 AM
2 Votes
This guy has abused his powers in office and needs to go!
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