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Investigator leaves Sheriff’s Dept., joins district attorney
RBC — Anthony Mazzola was ready for a change.
But, in some ways, he’s right back where he started.
After 17 years with the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Department, Monday was Mazzola’s first day on the job in the 9th Judicial District Attor-ney’s office as an investigator.
However, he didn’t have to worry about getting lost.
“I’m moving about 20 feet, that’s about it,” Mazzola said.
In fact, Mazzola moved into the same office he started out in with the sheriff’s department, which is now located across the hallway in the basement of the Rio Blanco County Courthouse.
“I’ve come full circle,” Mazzola said. “I love that office.”
Old office, but new job. Brand new job.
District Attorney Martin Beeson created the new investigator’s position. The 9th Judicial District represents three counties: Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco.
For the new position, Beeson wanted someone with strong connections to the area.
“I told him if you’re hiring someone to work full-time in Glenwood, I’m not the man,” Mazzola said. “If you’re looking for someone with ties to Rio Blanco County, I said, when do I start?”
Mazzola proved the right man for the job, having distinguished himself with the sheriff’s department. He started out as a patrol deputy, then he was the undersheriff for eight years under Phil Stubblefield, before becoming the county’s only investigator.
“Anthony has shown courage over the years with the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office and is the guy you want on your team when the going gets tough,” said Ann Toney, deputy district attorney in Meeker, who prosecutes felonies and has worked closely with Mazzola during the past two years.
Toney has seen what an asset Mazzola has been to the county.
“Anthony has always given to the community,” she said, citing his involvement with the White River Electric Association Board of Directors, the Lions Club and youth sports. “And for years he has been the head of the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team, spending many, many days out in the cold with others searching for lost hunters and locating survivors or deceased persons.”
Toney said she was thrilled to have Mazzola join the district attorney’s office.
“I have seen Anthony be tactful, considerate and show much discretion in his dealings with others,” she said. “Anthony has a way of always respecting the other person’s dignity, without compromising his own values and beliefs.
“As Anthony has said many times, you have to set the exam-
ple, no matter what others are doing.”
Mazzola learned the value of setting an example at an early age, working in his father’s restaurants, as did his siblings. His sister Kris Arcolesse and her husband, Henry, operate Ma Famiglia in Meeker.
“I can remember standing on a milk crate washing dishes,” said Mazzola, who was graduated from Meeker High School in 1980.
He has two other sisters, Gina Spencer and Cathy Kiser, who also both live in Meeker, and a brother, Ray, who lives in Hayden.
About a year after being graduated from high school, Mazzola took over running the family restaurant, after his father died.
“It’s definitely hard work,” he said of the restaurant business. “It’s 16-hour days, but if you want a good restaurant, that’s what it takes.”
Mazzola ran the restaurant for several years, before entering the military. He served in the U.S. Army for four and a half years.
With the new job, Mazzola will travel between the three counties in the 9th Judicial District. But it was important to Mazzola that he continue to live in Meeker and Rio Blanco County. His wife, Cheryl, was born and raised here, and their son, Anthony (or Bubba, as he is called), is a senior in high school.
“This is our home,” he said. “Rio Blanco County, it’s in my heart.”