Provided by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office:
Deputy District Attorney Kristin M. McElroy and Assistant District Attorney Megan B. Brooks this week were recognized with awards for excellence given in memory of two similarly accomplished prosecutors who died before their time.
District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub on Monday presented McElroy (left in photo) with the second annual Robert Rosner Memorial Award for Exceptional Public Service, Professionalism and Integrity, while Brooks (right) received the Danny E. Khalouf Memorial Award for Outstanding Performance.
Weintraub established the awards last year in honor of two friends and former colleagues with whom he worked in the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office, both of whom died prematurely in vehicle crashes.
Winners are chosen by a vote of their fellow attorneys in the office.
Rosner, who died in 2014 at age 52, was a former Marine and Warwick Township police officer who became an assistant district attorney and a deputy attorney general. His sons, Matthew and Eric, attended the ceremony.
Weintraub described Rosner as a tough, smart, fearless prosecutor known for outworking his courtroom adversaries, and for “having a strong sense of right and wrong.” The Rosner award is presented to a deputy district attorney who exemplifies his qualities.
As chief of the Special Victims Unit for adult sex crimes, McElroy “handles some of the worst cases that come through the door, but still maintains an amazing attitude,” one nominator wrote. Other comments lauded her work ethic, collaborative spirit, compassion, versatility and friendly disposition.
“You always have this quiet, cool, `I got this’” attitude, Weintraub told her. “You seem to be unflappable to me.”
A Bucks County native, McElroy joined the District Attorney’s Office in 2012 after participating in the office’s internship program, which today she supervises. She is a graduate of Archbishop Wood High School and Temple University School of Law, and holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Seton Hall University and Columbia University, respectively.
“The work we do – working with victims, the cases that make you cry, the cases that make you angry, that get you here at 6:30 in the morning because you can’t sleep … it’s so motivating, and we’re lucky to be able to do this,” McElroy said, thanking her colleagues. “We fight the good fight because it’s important to us, and it matters.”
Danny Khalouf was 27 when he and three close friends were killed by a drunken driver in 2004. He had spent two years as an assistant district attorney in Lehigh County, had been chosen to work with the community as part of the Weed and Seed crime-fighting program, and mentored teenagers through his church.
“It was his passion to serve the community where he grew up,” Weintraub said. “He served with honor and distinction … Danny was destined for greatness as a public servant.”
His mother, Naife Khalouf, and uncle, Elias Atiyeh, attended Monday’s ceremony, as did Bucks County Senior Deputy Public Defender Michael Lacson, Khalouf’s friend and law school roommate at Temple. The award in Khalouf’s name is given to an assistant district attorney for outstanding performance of his or her duties with courage, passion and teamwork.
Brooks, who joined the office fulltime in 2016, is a member of the Special Victims Unit and supervises the Youthful Offender Program. She previously worked as a summer intern and as law clerk to Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Raymond F. McHugh. She is a graduate of Central Bucks High School East, James Madison University and Syracuse University College of Law.
Brooks was nominated by colleagues who cited her excellent preparation, conscientious work ethic and collaborative attitude.
“You have done nothing but distinguish yourself since you’ve been here,” Weintraub told her. “You are what I like to call a rising star, an up-and-comer. Your work is exemplary; your attitude is fantastic.”
Brooks thanked Khalouf’s family “for allowing us the opportunity to continue carrying out Danny’s legacy in our office as a team.”
“What I’ve learned about Danny is that he was really, really big into teamwork,” she said, describing how colleagues always pitch in to help with court and office duties.
“There is no doubt that everyone in our office works hard, day in and day out,” Brooks said. “But I think what makes our office so special is that every day you can walk down our hallways and feel that teamwork; you can see it.”