“Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere” — Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963
Gordon Weekes is the elected Public Defender for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit for Broward County, Florida. With 1.9 millions people, Broward County is the second-most populace county is the State of Florida and 17th-most populous county in the Unites States. Fort Lauderdale is the county’s seat, the largest city in the Broward County. Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist destination about 25 miles north of Miami, Florida.
Born and raised in South Florida, Gordon Weekes is the youngest of three siblings. He attended public school in South Florida and graduated from North Miami Senior High School. While in high school, he also attended a trade school where learned he learned to work with his hands. He studies to become an aircraft mechanic at George T. Baker Aviation. Upon graduation, Gordon attended Miami-Dade College and then went on to attend Florida Memorial University. In 1994, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic Control. Mr. Weekes then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate in 1997 from Nova Southeastern University School of Law.
For over twenty years, Gordon Weekes has dedicated his life to public service and the pursuit of justice. In 1997, he began his career as an Assistant Public Defender at the Broward County Public Defender’s Office where he proudly represents the poor, the mentally ill and children of our community. For a brief period, Mr. Weekes entered private practice and was the managing partner in the Law Offices of Gelin & Weekes. After practicing in the area of civil litigation and employment law, he then returned to his passion – public service at the Public Defender’s Office.
Mr. Weekes was the first Assistant Public Defender within his office to specialize in representation of children charged as adults. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Weekes was appointed as the Chief Assistant Public Defender in charge of the Juvenile Division. Gordon embraced the task reforming the lives of children and families who found themselves embroiled in the juvenile justice system. Mr. Weekes has been instrumental in implementing civil citation for first-time nonviolent offenses, diversionary programs and addressing the schoolhouse-to-jailhouse pipeline to reduce the number of young people entering the system.
As Chief Assistant, he has tackled head-on abusive practices in adult jails and juvenile facilities. His efforts highlighted and supported the enactment of legislation to protect pregnant incarcerated women while in labor. As a result of his efforts in juvenile facilities, Florida ultimately cut ties with one of the nation’s largest for-profit prison contractors. He also spearheaded a campaign to shed light on the deplorable conditions within foster homes and mental health facilities. He moved for policy reform that would prohibit the excessive sedation of mentally ill children and successfully shuttered abusive residential commitment facilities. His expertise has been recognized statewide in the areas of conditions of confinement, prison privatization and the reduction of the school-house-to-jail-house pipeline.
In addition to his work with children, Mr. Weekes is a tireless advocate against police misconduct and the use of force. He has championed community efforts to address predatory policing. He continues to work on reducing minority over-representation and disparate treatment in the justice system. He was also at the center of the push to stop reality television shows like COPS and the Police Women of Broward County from exploiting our community and its residents for ratings. Mr. Weekes has also been a watchdog for wrongdoing and has uncovered a number of issues that directly impact the public’s confidence in the judicial system.
Mr. Weekes has appeared as a panelist and moderator for a number of community forums and has lectured throughout the State on various topics ranging from ethics, scientific evidence, and community / police relations. He currently serves as a community stakeholder on several boards including the Delta Education and Life Development Foundation, Habitat for Humanity of Broward, Circuit Seventeen Advisory Board, FPDA Juvenile Subcommittee, Disproportionate Minority Contact & Zero Tolerance Committee and Broward Schools – Prison Pipeline Committee.
On January 2, 2021, Mr. Weekes was sworn in as Broward County’s Public Defender. He is humbled and honored to be the first man of color elected as Public Defender in the State of Florida. As the head of The Law Office of the Public Defender in Florida’s Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, he will carry forward his life’s work and passion to improve the criminal justice system for all of Broward County.