Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Tom Tracy - Florida Catholic
See related story: 'Do the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time'
FORT LAUDERDALE | As part of their annual celebration, the Broward County-based St. Thomas More Society of legal professionals presented their Archbishop Edward McCarthy Award to W. Anthony “Tony” Loe, a prosecutor and division chief of the career criminal unit in the Broward State Attorney's Office.
Judge Dennis Bailey, a member of the society, presented the award at a June 9 dinner following the 27th annual Red Mass at St. Anthony Parish. The Archbishop Edward McCarthy Award is given to a member of the local legal community who exemplifies the legal profession’s highest ideals and ethical standards.
A member of the Miami law firm of Wayne Black & Associates, Loe has been practicing law for more than 22 years and tried in excess of 150 jury trials. Forty-three of those trials have been first degree murder cases.
During his tenure in the Broward State Attorney’s Office, Loe was responsible for the investigations and trials of some of the most complex and highest profile cases in South Florida, according to the law firm’s website.
Loe, a native of Ohio, was accompanied at the dinner by his wife and children and Father Patrick Naughton, parochial vicar at St. Gregory the Great Parish in Plantation.
“The prosecutor is not like any other attorney. The prosecutor is a minister of justice; the prosecutor has a higher duty than other lawyers and the prosecutor has the duty of seeking justice, not of the special interests of his clients, but of seeking justice,” Judge Bailey said before calling Loe to receive the award.
“Tony immediately impressed me as someone with powerful character rooted in his faith, a relentless work ethic and an insatiable appetite for truth and justice,” Judge Bailey said of his long working acquaintance with Loe.
“Tony always demonstrated the difference between having a job and having a profession, and understanding that relationship. He always set himself firmly in the role of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate. It was a role he kept whether in the office or at home, whether it was a workday or a holiday,” Judge Bailey said.
For his part, Loe said he was honored to be among the past recipients of the award.
“Law can be demanding and extremely time-consuming, and I have been very blessed that I have a wonderful family that has been extremely supportive on those nights and weekends when I am working on my cases, trying to make sure that I obtained justice on behalf of the Broward State Attorney’s Office,” Loe said.
“John F. Kennedy said, ‘One person can make a difference and everyone should try,’” he added. “I am truly blessed: I have a wonderful family and a phenomenal job ó a job for which I have a ton of passion.”
He also recalled finding fresh inspiration in his Catholic parish years ago by hearing the Sunday homily of a local priest who every week “gave me something that I could put in my pocket and carry with me the rest of the week.”
Loe was speaking of the late Father Gabriel O’Reilly, pastor of St. David Parish in Davie. †
“Everyone can make a difference,” Loe said. “Father O’Reilly made a huge difference in my life.”
Corrected: The current position of award recipient W. Anthony "Tony" Loe was stated incorrectly in the original story. He was briefly in civil practice but has been back with the Broward State Attorney's office for a number of years now.