For over twenty years, Gordon Weekes has dedicated his life to public service and the pursuit of justice for the disadvantaged. In 1994, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Air Traffic Control from Florida Memorial University. Gordon went on to earn his Juris Doctorate in 1997 from Nova Southeastern University School of Law.
In 1997, he also began his career as an Assistant Public Defender at the Broward County Public Defender’s Office where he represents the poor, the mentally ill and children of our community. For a brief period, Gordon ran his own office in private practice but returned to his passion – public service at the Public Defender’s Office.
Under the leadership of “Help Me” Howard Finkelstein, Mr. Weekes became the first Assistant Public Defender to specialize in representing children charged as adults in Broward Courts. Gordon has handled a variety of cases ranging from minor misdemeanors to complex major crimes. Shortly thereafter, Gordon was appointed as the Chief Assistant Public Defender in charge of the Juvenile Division where has been instrumental in implementing a host of programs that have drastically reduced the number of young people entering the system.
As Chief Assistant, he has tackled head-on abusive practices in juvenile jails. As a result of his efforts Florida ultimately cut ties with one of the nation’s largest for-profit prison contractors. He also shed light on the deplorable conditions within foster homes and mental health facilities. He further forced the implementation of new procedures that would prohibit the sedation of youth as a means of behaviors management and successfully shuttered abusive juvenile jails, residential commitment facilities and group homes. His expertise in predatory policing practices, conditions of confinement, prison privatization and reduction of the school-house-to-jail-house pipeline has been recognized statewide.
In addition to his work with children, Gordon has been a tireless advocate against police misconduct and the use of force. He has championed community efforts to address predatory policing, that results in 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 COP’s and the Police Women of Broward County from exploiting the mentally ill for ratings. Mr. Weekes has also been a watchdog for wrongdoing and has uncovered a number of problems in the Crime Lab that have directly impacted the public’s confidence in the judicial system.
Mr. Weekes has appeared as a panelist on a number of community forums and has lectured throughout the State on various topics ranging from ethics, scientific evidence to police relations. He currently serves as a community stakeholder on several boards including the Circuit Seventeen Advisory Board and the Broward Schools’ – Prison Pipeline Committee, which has been nationally recognized for reducing the number of children arrested, expelled or suspended from school. He also chairs the Juvenile Disproportionate Minority Contact & Zero Tolerance Committee and has served on the Florida Public Defender’s Association’s Juvenile Justice Subcommittee.