Getting to know Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri with this week's '10 Questions'

TAMPA - Are you ever curious about the real lives of politicians, celebrities, local newsmakers and athletes?
Each Tuesday, ABC Action News asks 10 questions of a Bay area leader, politician or even national celebrity.
We go beyond the questions that are news of the day. After all sometimes, we want know more about them. What's their favorite music? Greatest success? And who do they look up to?

This week we hear from, the top law enforcement officer at the Pinellas County Sheriff's office, the sheriff himself, Bob Gualtieri,

In 1912, the county was created through a special referendum and since then 14 sheriff's have proudly served their community, and that includes Gaultieri.

Gualtieri was appointed by the Governor in November 2011 after Sheriff Jim Coats decided to seek early retirement. Coats wife Cat was diagnosed with breast cancer and Sheriff Coats wanted to devote his time to her as she went through surgery and chemotherapy.

Gualtieri then won his first full term in November 2012.  He is the head of an agency where he started his law enforcement career more than three decades ago.

In 1982,  he began as a Deputy Sheriff in the Detention and Corrections Bureau. He worked in that capacity for about a year, working towards becoming a certified law enforcement officer. When that happened he joined the Dunedin Police Department .

But, within the next year, Gualtieri was back at the Sheriff's Office employed as a patrol deputy.

Gualtiieri soon became a detective in the narcotics division and was involved international and domestic drug and money laundering investigations. During that time, Gualtieri became an expert in electronic surveillance.

But in 1998, Gualtieri decided to leave the sheriff's office to pursue another passion: Law. In 2002 he achieved his dream, graduating cum laude from Stetson College of Law.
Gualtieri did take a job at a local law firm-but he was soon called back to the sheriff's office. He returned as General Counsel and soon moved up the ranks once again, then appointed Chief Deputy, the second in command.

To learn more about the sheriff's office and the agency's commitment to keeping  the community safe you can head to:

The sheriff is very active in the community. According to his bio page, his many affiliations include serving on the Board of Directors for the Pinellas Education Foundation, Pinellas Homeless Leadership Board, Sheriff's Police Athletic League (PAL) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast.

Sheriff Gualtieri is also still a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and the Bar Associations of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Hillsborough County.

As a journalist, I appreciate Sheriff Guatieri's willingness to always give us an interview-even if it is a tough story. One example, the story of the woman charged with riding a manatee last year. The story received national coverage-and many had strong opinions on whether Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez should face charges.

I called the Sheriff and he responded personally. This is the story:

Sheriff Gualtieri is originally from Syracuse, New York and a Pinellas County resident for over 30 years. He is married and the proud father of three daughters.

Read more:

1. What is your all time favorite movie or song?

No particular song but James Taylor as an artist

2. Do you have a Smartphone? If so, what's your favorite app?

 Yes. NBA app. (Miami Heat fan)

3. Who do you count as your mentor(s)?

 That's a hard one because I have learned so much from so many different people.

4. What was your very first job?

Bagging groceries

5. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

Getting my formal education earlier in life.

6. What do you consider your greatest success?

Having a great family and watching my daughters grow up.

7. Tell us something about you most people don't know?

We have 3 dogs, 4 cats, a rabbit, 5 guinea pigs and live in the "city"

8. If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

My parents (they both died 25 years ago) with my wife and daughters

9. What is in your fridge right now?

Chicken nuggets and fruit cups (we have a 7 year old)

10. If you could have a different career, other then what you're doing now, what would it

 Practicing law

Please keep sending me your suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you!
If you would like to suggest someone for 10 questions you can e-mail me at I look forward to hearing from you!


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