Fired State Attorney spox faced performance scrutiny before Andrew Warren’s suspension

A fired spokesperson for the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office claimed to be the victim of an “illegal firing.” The move made headlines days after the controversial suspension of State Attorney Andrew Warren. But files in her personnel folder suggest Melanie Snow-Waxler’s performance had come under scrutiny months before Warren’s departure.

A memo by Warren’s Chief of Staff, Gary Weismandetails dating back to June, just a month after her hiring, and had concerns in the State Attorney’s Office relying on outside communications consultants during her tenure.

That’s a different picture than one Snow-Waxler painted after her termination in August, when she issued a statement characterizing her “illegal firing” as “part of a troubling pattern of retaliation.” In a statement to WTSPshe described being told to report to a new supervisor following Warren’s suspension, and shortly after that, was given an ultimatum to resign or be fired.

“I had only begun my job with the State Attorney’s Office in May. This was an exciting opportunity for me as I have always believed in criminal justice reform,” Snow-Waxler told the news outlet.

“My goal was ensuring that the residents of Hillsborough County received timely, truthful information about the actions of the State Attorney to keep our community safe and pursue justice. I will continue to provide truthful information to the public. I will fight for justice.”

The Weisman memo, though, asserts continued problems with Snow-Waxler keeping up with developments in major cases and understanding legal terminology.

It also states that immediately after Snow-Waxler started work on May 9, Warren asked her to develop a strategic communications plan for the agency and to develop a familiarity with prosecution work. But by June 10, concerns arose about her job performance.

“State Attorney Warren expressed significant frustration that Ms. Snow-Waxler had

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