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Attorney General Bill McCollum Press Release
Attorney General McCollum Honors Outstanding Prosecutors
~ Assistant State Attorney, Chief Assistant Statewide Prosecutor lauded at Cabinet meeting ~
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today offered a resolution recognizing Assistant State Attorney David I. Gilbert for receiving the 2007 Gene Berry Award by the Florida Prosecuting State Attorneys Association (FPAA). The resolution was adopted by the Florida Cabinet.
Gilbert, a statewide expert in prosecuting traffic homicides, received the honor for his 34 years of public service in the 11th Judicial Circuit, which serves Miami-Dade County. Attorney General McCollum commended Gilbert for his work prosecuting major crimes and traffic homicides and assisting crime victims and their families with compassion.
“Prosecutors are essential to enforcing our system of justice,” McCollum said. “They stand up for victims and their families, and Mr. Gilbert is a shining example of a prosecutor whose dedicated, exemplary service has made a difference to the people of Florida.”
The Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association presents the Gene Berry Award annually in honor of Assistant State Attorney Eugene Berry, who was fatally shot in 1982 by the wife of a man he prosecuted. After graduating from Vanderbilt Law School in 1976 at the age of 41, Berry served the 15th Judicial Circuit for a year before heading the Punta Gorda office of the 20th Judicial Circuit. During his tenure in Southwest Florida, he prosecuted many drug cases in Charlotte County, including 30 major felony trials in the year before his death.
Award recipients show exceptional dedication to achieving justice and promoting a better understanding and appreciation for the law and courts.
“Florida has so many dedicated assistant state attorneys who work tirelessly to protect our families and prosecute those who violate our laws,” said Mark Ober, FPAA president and state attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit. “Selecting a winner is always a daunting task due to the excellent prosecutors who serve our state, yet David Gilbert’s commitment to public safety makes him a worthy recipient of the Gene Berry Award.”
In addition to reviewing the 350 to 400 annual traffic deaths in Miami-Dade County and prosecuting felony cases, Gilbert trains law enforcement officials to conduct successful traffic investigations. A perpetual teacher, Gilbert also mentors new prosecutors by assisting them with legal issues and trial strategy.
During the Cabinet Resolution honoring Gilbert, the Attorney General and the FPAA also honored Chief Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Thomas Smith for his work with a regional task force composed of individuals with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Manatee County Sheriffıs Office and the Attorney Generalıs Office of Statewide Prosecution. Smith was recognized for his outstanding contributions towards combating gang violence in Southwest Florida.