- Berkshire District Attorney's Office
Media Contact for A career rooted in public service
Dennis Yusko, Communications Director
Pittsfield — On Feb. 15, 1979, a resolute Shelley Crippa walked into the newly formed Berkshire District Attorney’s Office and started as clerk for Anthony Ruberto, Berkshire County’s first DA.
Forty years, five district attorneys and three college degrees later, Shelley is the indispensable director of fiscal affairs and chief financial officer for the District Attorney’s Office. But she actually wears many hats. Shelley is our budget hawk, problem solver, lead organizer, staff whisperer, institutional memory, master of wit, and volunteer delivery person of morning newspapers and water coolers.
“I feel every minute of it,” Shelley joked recently about her many duties.
If Shelley played for the Red Sox, she’d be hitting six-for-six. District Attorney Andrea Harrington is the sixth DA that Shelley has served under. “I have been lucky to have a wonderful career and to work with great people,” Shelley said recently in her office.
To honor Shelley’s special work anniversary on Friday, DA Harrington presented her with flowers and a special cake. Director of Information Technology Susan Morrison and the District Attorney paid tribute to Shelley during the informal gathering, held in the office library.
“We couldn’t do all we do in this office without Shelley,” DA Harrington said. “Thank you for your support.”
Growing up in Pittsfield, Shelley didn’t imagine a career in criminal justice for herself. That changed when Ruberto plucked her out of St. Joseph Central High School to recruit her as office secretary for his private law firm.
Shelley worked at the Law Offices of Ruberto & Ruberto until 1979, when Berkshire County broke away from Hampden County to establish its own District Attorney’s Office. After winning election, DA Ruberto asked Shelley to join him in the District Attorney’s Office, and she became one of its original 10 employees. That July, Massachusetts took administrative control of all DA Offices from its counties.
Shelley’s hard work distinguished her. While advancing her career, she raised a family and earned multiple college degrees. Shelley received an associate degree from Berkshire Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, previously known as North Adams State College, and a master’s degree from Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst. Former District Attorney David Capeless promoted Shelley to Director of Fiscal Affairs.
Shelley Crippa holds a photograph from 1983, when she performed swearing-in duties for the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office.
“My favorite part of the position has been working with staff, solving problems for them,” Shelley said. “My job is doing stuff in the background.” She said the most challenging part is dealing with wavering levels of resources and losing longtime friends.
Shelley’s personal growth coincided with that of the District Attorney’s Office.
Starting out as a young employee, Shelley was so shy that she refused to answer the phone at the Ruberto law firm. One day, a senior secretary in the office sprung a surprise. She told Shelley that she was leaving for a one-month vacation, and it was “sink or swim” time. Shelley learned to swim, and her shyness, as we all know, was replaced by boldness.
“I’d call the Pope now,” she said.