Jan. 25—MORGANTOWN — Gabrielle Mucciola was a 19-year-old broadcast journalism student in 2008 when she first showed up at the Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney's office to work as an administrative assistant.
On Wednesday, Mucciola, who goes by Gabe, was appointed by the Monongalia County Commission to serve as the county's prosecuting attorney for the next two years.
"I am humbled, " Mucciola told The Dominion Post. "And I'm very excited."
Mucciola and Ted Nordstrom, two of the assistant prosecutors serving under Prosecuting Attorney Perri Jo DeChristopher, expressed interest in the position after Gov. Jim Justice announced in December that he was appointing DeChristopher to a seat on the 17th Judicial Circuit Court upon the retirement of Phillip Gaujot.
DeChristopher was reelected as prosecutor in 2020 and leaves the position with two years remaining on her second, four-year term.
"Obviously the loss of Perri DeChristopher is also a gain because we're getting her as a judge, so that was news that was exciting but also bittersweet, " Mucciola said. "But when we learned of that news I immediately knew that I wanted to at least be considered for that position."
Mucciola admits her future plans were very much up in the air back in 2008. Then she began working in close proximity to DeChristopher, former Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown and former Assistant Prosecutor and current Circuit Court Judge Cindy Scott, among others.
"I really knew at that point that I wanted to be a prosecutor, particularly here in Monongalia County. So I came back as a prosecutor after finishing law school and have been here and working hard ever since, so this opportunity is really just full circle for me, " she said.
Both DeChristopher and Mucciola are expected to be sworn in to their new roles on Friday.
Mucciola's soon-to-be former boss was on hand for Wednesday's announcement.
"I appreciate the appointment of Ms. Mucciola. I can assure you that transition will be smooth, " DeChristopher said. "She will be able to hit the ground running and will be a great representative of our county."
Commissioner Sean Sikora said both Mucciola and Nordstrom were strong candidates, noting both are well aware of the standard that's been set for that office.
"I've been very impressed with what you've done in the office, " Sikora told DeChristopher. "Seeing Gabe and her energy that she brings to the position is what inspired me to say she's the clear candidate in what she'll continue to do to raise the level of this stature."
Asked if she intends to hold on to the seat beyond the next two years, Mucciola answered without hesitation.
"Absolutely. That is something I will be pursuing in 2024, " she said.