Whether exposing improper conduct on the part of fellow members of the local school board in Springfield, Ill., or successfully leading the prosecution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh—including the death sentence, Asst. U.S. Attorney Joe Hartzler ("Good job, Joe," August 1997) acts from the courage of his convictions. That’s the judgment of the Paul Simon Courage in Public Service committee who honored him with the 2007 award, named for the former Illinois senator who died in 2003.
|Lisa and Joe Hartzler|
A member of St. John Lutheran Church
, Springfield, Hartzler was called an “unsung hero” in Simon’s book Fifty-Two Simple Ways to Make a Difference
(available from www.amazon.com
The Simon award was presented to Hartzler at Lutheran Day
in Springfield, an annual event at the state capital sponsored by Lutheran service organizations affiliated with the ELCA
and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
that also offers opportunities to study connections between faith and service and to learn about public policy issues that impact people in need in the state.