Fourth Circuit Public Defender Matt Shirk is in real trouble. On Friday, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and the police and fire unions endorsed his challenger, Charles Cofer.
Williams’ endorsing statement has to be considered damning for the two-term incumbent.
“The Public Defender’s Office is an important part of our criminal justice system,” Williams said. “Charlie Cofer’s 36 years of service as a public defender and county judge make him uniquely qualified to run that office. Charlie has earned a reputation throughout the community and law enforcement for his integrity and experience. I support Charlie Cofer in the race for public defender, since I know that he will restore integrity and experience to that office.”
Fraternal Order of Police head Steve Zona was even more scorching in his indictment of Shirk.
“It’s time to restore the integrity of the Office of Public Defender,” Zona said. “The office is broken and is being used for political attacks and personal agendas. Charlie Cofer will restore the integrity of the office and has the experience to represent those in our criminal justice system that need it most.”