Pete Proly, a longtime Pasco County criminal defense lawyer, died Friday night after battling leukemia. He was 66.
In a career spanning more than 40 years, Proly, garnered the respect and good will of his fellow defense lawyers in Pasco County, as well as prosecutors and his own clients.
A graduate of St. John's University School of Law, Proly began his legal career in 1971 handling courts-martial defense cases in the U.S. Navy and later served as a military prosecutor and judge. Upon discharge from the Navy, Proly settled in Florida and became an assistant state attorney in Pasco County in 1975.
He moved to private practice as a defense attorney in 1983, eventually forming the Port Richey law office of Proly, LaPorte & Mulligan, P.A.
"He was one of the really good guys," said his law partner, Craig LaPorte. "His goal was always to try to get his clients the best deal he possibly could, but also to try to get them to change their life and realize the downward spiral they were on."
Proly had been battling leukemia since 2010.
He is survived by his wife, Ellie; son, Ryan Proly, and daughter, Jennifer Galligan; and two grandchildren.
His family is planning a memorial service, but the time and place had not been finalized Saturday.