TAMPA (WFLA) – They could threaten him. They could try to avoid him. But those who became the subject of a Steve Andrews investigation knew it was just a matter of time before he exposed them and their alleged wrongdoing.

“He put their feet to the fire like nobody I have ever seen,” said friend and former co-worker Gayle Sierens, who was in the anchor chair in 1985 when Andrews arrived in Tampa. “He was tough, but he was kind. As a journalist you did not want to be on the wrong side of the law if Steve Andrews was around.”

Andrews has been around WFLA-TV for 35 years. Every time he appeared on TV, you knew it was something you needed to see. He is a trusted voice for the voiceless and someone who could hold the powerful accountable.

Andrews’ journey in journalism began in 1973 on radio in Lewiston, Maine, where he also worked part-time as a television reporter. He and his wife Paula had two daughters there before Andrews’ passion for reporting took them to San Antonio, Texas. Within two years, the family was on the way to Tampa Bay.

Throughout his extraordinary career, Andrews has proven to be a tireless defender of those who needed their stories told. In recent years, he became an advocate for veteran’s health care.

“If I can find a story where it’s David vs. Goliath and David’s not winning then maybe we can do something for them,” Andrews said.

And he did. Time and time again, Steve Andrews leveled the playing field.

“It was a lot of work but it was a labor of love. He loved what he did,” said photojournalist Gordon Dempsey who worked alongside Andrews for the past 22 years. “We might expose a problem but then we would stay with it until we were able to find some sort of a solution or get some justice for the victims.”

Andrews’ inner drive and conviction earned him multiple Emmy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

We will miss his expertise, his tenacity, his fairness and his witty sense of humor. There can be no doubt, senior investigative reporter Steve Andrews made a difference in our community. As he transitions into retirement, we celebrate with him and honor his enduring legacy of integrity in journalism.