It was a standing ovation as Steve Mikita wheeled himself to the front of the ballroom to accept a lifetime achievement award from the Utah Attorney General's Office.
He was among several staffers at the office to be recognized for their work during the attorney general's annual awards luncheon on Friday.
Mikita has served as an assistant attorney general for the past 25 years, advocating on behalf of disabled and other vulnerable people.
Not bad for someone who wasn't expected to live beyond six months. Mikita was born with a progressive neuromuscular disease, yet he has succeeded and is not only considered one of the top attorneys in the attorney general's office but is an author and motivational speaker.
Speaking to the crowd, Mikita said "it only takes one," thanking his family for their support and the Utah Attorney General's Office for giving him a job 25 years ago, "when all the other law firms in this city turned me down."
"It only takes an award like this to make all of those ones in my life one of the most memorable moments of my life," he said Friday. "This is a culmination of all those ones."
Mikita was praised for his work as an advocate for the disabled. David Hart, the architect for the state capitol building renovations, said Mikita has been invaluable.
"It is more accessible today, thanks to Steve," he said.
The chief prosecutor for cases involving the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was also recognized Friday as the attorney general's "Attorney of the Year." Paul Amann has a nearly 100 percent conviction rate in cases involving Internet sex predators who target children. Because of the massive caseload he handles, he was given the nickname "Buzz Saw."A man who helped develop and oversee Utah's new identity theft Web site was also honored Friday. Scott Morrill was honored for his work in creating the Identity Theft Reporting Information System. The one-stop Web site helps victims file police reports, notify credit agencies and try to restore their names once they've been stolen. The Web site is idtheft.utah.gov.
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