Geauga County Commissioner Ralph Spidalieri is embarking on his next venture in law enforcement after being sworn into the Portage County Sheriff’s Office as chief deputy last month.
Portage Sheriff Bruce Zuchowski, who serves on the board of Blue Line Unlimited as director of special operations, swore in Mr. Spidalieri on Dec. 22.
“What an honor to be sworn in as chief deputy by the best man I have ever known in my life, and [I] will proudly serve with Sheriff Bruce Zuchowski,” Mr. Spidalieri wrote in a Facebook post after taking his oath on Dec. 22, adding that he was grateful for his daughter’s attendance and taking part in “such a humbling moment.”
Mr. Spidalieri will make $104,000 annually as chief deputy, according to Portage County Auditor Janet Esposito. The chief deputy before him made $79,000. The salary for county commissioners in Ohio is $61,215 for a county with a population between 55,001 and 95,000 people, according to the Ohio Revised Code and Auditor of State.
Sheriff Zuchowski, a Republican, began his term on Jan. 4, after being newly elected to office last November. Mr. Spidalieri was the new sheriff’s campaign manager, according to published reports.
Mr. Spidalieri in November won re-election as a Geauga commissioner, considered a part-time position. The chief deputy job is considered a full-time job.
Having about 30 years of law enforcement experience, Mr. Spidalieri of Munson is the founder of Blue Line Unlimited and currently serves on the nonprofit’s board as vice president. The nonprofit organization assists first responders and their families with “benefits, training, education and equipment,” according to their mission statement.
Mr. Spidalieri has served in the Shaker Heights Police Department as a traffic division corporal and a sniper on S.W.A.T., according to his campaign website, and served as a deputy under the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office for six years. Mr. Spidalieri is in his third term as a Geauga Commissioner, having been on the board since 2012.
Mr. Spidalieri did not return the Time’s request for comments about his new position.