Joerg Jaeger, the long-time Orlando criminal defense attorney who was representing former Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks in her criminal case, died on June 28. Jeffrey Ashton, the State Attorney for the 9th Judicial Circuit–where Jaeger had once been a prosecutor–announced Jaeger’s death on his Facebook page Thursday.
“Today,” Ashton wrote, “we mourn the unexpected loss of our friend Joerg Jaeger and send condolences to his family during this difficult time. Joerg, a former prosecutor here at SAO9, became a stalwart attorney in Central Florida’s legal defense community and was a Florida Bar Board-Certified Criminal Trial Specialist. He will be missed.”
Jaeger, 68, had last appeared in court with Weeks at the Flagler County courthouse on March 24, when he successfully argued that three of the charges against Weeks should be dropped, and was partly successful in arguing for a “severance” of some of the remaining nine third-degree felony counts against Weeks. The charges stem from a series of allegedly illegal recordings Weeks made of her phone conversations and of other conversations between government officials, a judge and others at the Supervisor of Elections’ office before she resigned.
Jaeger had been providing Weeks a robust defense that was steadily puncturing holes and revealing vulnerabilities in the state’s case against her. On June 20, Jaeger’s partner, Kendell Ali of Jaeger, Ali and Blankner, the Orlando law firm, informed the court in Flagler that he was taking over the Weeks case. The notice contained no explanation as to why.
Jaeger got his law degree from the University of Florida in 1974. He was an assistant state attorney in Orange County for the next seven years, handling, among other cases, murder cases in counties where the state attorney had a conflict of interest. ” Jaeger was appointed to represent the State Attorney’s Office at the National Juvenile Justice Conference in Washington D.C., which resulted in a statutory reform of juvenile law in the State of Florida,” his brief biography on his law firm’s website states.
In 2012, he rean unsuccessfully for State Attorney in Orange County, when he put up some $100,000 of his own monmey to fund the campaign, according to the Orlando Sentinel at the time. “I’m not going to ask for money from anybody,” Jaeger told the Sentinel. “That way I won’t owe anybody anything.”