Once named Arizona's Felony Prosecutor of the Year, Globe attorney Dennis "Dino" McCarthy is hoping to trade in his legal briefs for a silver star, as he joins three other candidates in the race for Gila County Sheriff.
McCarthy, a Democrat, announced this week that he intends to hold the office held by Joe Rodriguez for the past 16 years. His competition for the office includes fellow Globe resident John Armer, a Democrat, and Payson residents Mike Hull, a Democrat, and Art Stone, a Republican.
"It's something I've always wanted to do since I was a boy," McCarthy said.
"There was one man in my life who made the greatest impression on me. That was my grandfather, William P. Mahoney.
"He served in our first legislature, and served as sheriff of Mohave County from 1919 to 1925 --a very famous man. I've always tried to pattern my life after him."
A fourth-generation Arizonan, McCarthy graduated from West Phoenix High School in 1978. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., then earned his law degree in 1989 from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.
Two years later, he and his wife, Dianna McGann McCarthy, moved to Globe. He served as senior deputy county attorney under Joe Albo and Jerry DeRose. During his tenure with the county attorney's office, McCarthy prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases, including first-degree murder cases. He tried more than 100 jury trials, including the highly publicized Payson 11 murder and the Billy Jack case.
His success as a savvy litigator has earned him several awards, including the Gila County Felony Prosecutor of the Year for 1995, 1996 and 1997. Also in 1997, McCarthy was named Arizona's Felony Prosecutor of the Year by the Arizona Prosecuting Attorney's Advisory Council --the first and only time a Gila County attorney has received that award.
In 1995, he graduated from Eastern Arizona College's basic police academy, and from 1996 to 1999, he served as a uniformed reserve officer for the Globe Police Department.
McCarthy said he feels his knowledge of the law -- both as an officer and as an attorney --will provide him with a unique perspective on ways to improve services and management within the sheriff's department.
"I think I appeal to a cross-section of our community," he said. "I have a pretty good support base in law enforcement that I've worked on over the years. I've earned the respect of the officers. I've always had an open-door policy and spent as much time as I could answering their questions.
"I think that's what I can bring to the office--not just a person who can manage the place, but also with my legal background, I understand the law, and I understand procedure, and I can instruct (the deputies) in many aspects of law enforcement as well as criminal procedure."
He said his goal is to assure the safety of the public, while turning the department into the premier law enforcement agency in Arizona.
For more information about Dino McCarthy, call 472-7530, or write to him at P.O. Box 2191, Globe, Ariz. 85502.