Gualtieri Replaces Coats as Pinellas Sheriff
Bob Gualtieri was promoted from chief deputy to sheriff today after Jim Coats announced he would retire a year early to spend more time with his wife.
Bob Gualtieri has taken over leadership of the Pinellas County Sherriff's Office. At 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Gualtieri officially became sheriff.
Last month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced he would appoint Gualtieri as sheriff. The decision came after Jim Coats announced he would retire early so he could spend more time with his wife, Cat, who is battling breast cancer.
Gualtieri, 50, began his career at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office as a detention deputy at the Pinellas County Jail in 1982. He was serving as chief deputy at the time of his appointment last month.
He will be joined by family and friends at a formal swearing-in ceremony Wednesday at the Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater. Gualtieri lives in Palm Harbor. He is married and has three daughters.
Gualtieri will serve as sheriff until January 2013, when the winner of the November 2012 election for sheriff takes office. Gualtieri is also a Republican candidate in the 2012 race for Pinellas County sheriff.