LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — In a tightly-controlled press conference this morning, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory made his first public appearance since his stint in rehab for alcohol-related and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) issues.

Guillory kept reporters from asking follow-up questions on such issues as a construction-related business he and his wife established in the wake of a Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) infrastructure boom, as first reported by The Current.

Guillory denied that the company, WM&N Supplies and Machinery, has done business with any other companies doing business with LCG. When asked if the thought the company’s establishment could be considered a conflict of interest, Guillory gave the following response:

“Look, anybody that knows me — that’s a fair question. So, my wife and I started a company. She’s majority owner, but [Louisiana is a] community property state. I’m very proud of her efforts. I’m very proud of her leadership, and I’ve always said there’s only one person I wouldn’t run against, and that’s her. And for right reasons. But I think she’s on my side. I think — I hope so. She’s here … I think that’s very fair, alright, and I think we should address it. Look, anybody that knows me, from when I started my office, you know, to whatever I do — these guys are all familiar with it. Everything must be lawful and ethical. Everything must be lawful and ethical. So, you know, so maybe if I wasn’t so ethical or whatnot, then maybe we’d be millionaires but, you know, I still mow my own grass.”

Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory

Guillory also defended his decision to remain in power during his rehab stint instead of allowing the city and parish councils to name an interim leader.

“Look, the people elected me, elected my policies, elected my thoughts and ideas, and the administration is there to carry out those thoughts and ideas,” said Guillory. “Twenty-one days — not a long time, and, you know, I feel like the folks deserve those initiatives to go forward, and thankfully, we have great leaders in place. Some of those guys and ladies are in this room right now, and can carry out those initiatives.”

Guillory attributed his decision to “doing things different” in his administration.

“The old way of doing things was inefficient and full of crippling bureaucracy,” said Guillory. “We are aggressive and we fight for every single citizen in this city and parish. That is not changing, and neither is our new pace of government.”

Guillory addressed “attacks” on him since his rehab announcement, noting that anyone who wants to work with him “in good faith” would find an open door from his office.

“If your motive is anything other than moving Lafayette forward, and making this the best place to live in our state, I kindly ask you to reexamine your heart. And I also urge you to remember that the people are much smarter than the elitists give them credit for.”

Guillory offers help to alcoholics, PTSD victims

Guillory also used the press conference to offer direct help to victims of alcoholism and PTSD.

“I understand what you’re going through,” said Guillory. “And it can get better.”

Guillory said that those suffering from alcoholism and PTSD who don’t know where to start getting help can call his office.

Guillory spoke about his recovery, noting that a 21-day stint in rehab would not be an immediate cure, and called the stay the first “of many bricks in a solid foundation in a lifelong recovery plan.”

“As I said in my statement three weeks ago, asking for help — it’s not something I’m accustomed to doing,” said Guillory. “It just doesn’t come easy or natural to me. But I recognized a problem, and I knew that if I did not proactively seek, ask for, and receive help, it would not only hurt my family, myself, my loved ones — but it would also hurt the city and parish of Lafayette and the residents that I care deeply about.”

Guillory expressed his thanks for the showing of support that many showed in the wake of his rehab announcement.

“It’s always been in my nature to face my problems head-on, move past them, and come back stronger,” said Guillory. “And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.”