LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced Monday in a press release that he has voluntarily checked himself into rehab for “an addiction to alcohol and untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
Guillory reported he will be attending in-patient rehabilitation for 21 days and stated he will remain in contact with Lafayette City-Parish Attorney Greg Logan and Chief Administrative Officer Cydra Wingerter to continue his duties while in rehab.
Logan released a legal opinion (see below) on the matter of whether or not Guillory can officially remain in charge of the city-parish government despite being out of state for rehab. He notes that with modern technology, Guillory is easily reachable and is therefore not “unavailable” for day-to-day governmental duties.
However, in a joint statement released this afternoon by the City and Parish councils (see below), officials said they will be reviewing the government’s charter to fully address the matter.
Guillory’s statement reads as follows:
Asking for help is not something that has come easily to me. If there is ever a problem, I deal with it. More often than not, when I see someone else with a problem, I take it on myself to try and fix it. It’s just the way I’m made. It’s why I joined the military and fought on the front lines in active combat for this country, and it’s why I signed up for this job.
In my life, I have handled the most stressful situations imaginable and come out the other side successfully. I have dealt with the stress of looking evil square in the eye and confronting it. I have seen things that people are not meant to see. Over time, those stresses build up. And being a person who has always been the one who takes care of problems, I never asked for help. Instead, I found myself relying on alcohol to ease those pains. Understand that I have never had a drink before or during working hours. But, in recent months I have noticed my growing dependency as soon as the day is over. And while that dependency has not had a direct impact on my duties as Mayor-President, it has begun to negatively impact my interpersonal relationships, especially my family, which is more important than everything else.
This weekend, I made the decision to voluntarily check myself into an in-patient rehabilitation facility for 21 days to help me overcome what I believe was becoming an addiction to alcohol and untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Because of my elected position, special arrangements have been made allowing me to remain available and in daily communication with Lafayette City-Parish Attorney Greg Logan and Chief Administrative Officer Cydra Wingerter to continue to give direction as necessary on City-Parish matters. I have complete faith in my executive team to provide the same level of service, leadership, and operational readiness during this brief period.
In an effort to provide transparency, upon my return, I will work to answer questions from the media. In the meantime, I ask the media to respect my family’s privacy while I am away.
After the 21-day treatment, without question or hesitation, I will be returning, stronger than ever.Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory
The opinion issued by Logan reads as follows:
The Mayor-President remains Chief Executive Officer of the City of Lafayette, the Parish of Lafayette, and the City-Parish Government, being available to exercise all general executive and administrative authority over all administrative functions, departments of Lafayette Consolidated Government in accordance with the Charter.
Because of Mayor-President Guillory’s status as an elected official, who serves as Chief Executive Officer of Lafayette, special arrangements were made with his in-patient treatment facility to allow 24-hour access to the Mayor-President. He can be reached by the City-Parish Attorney or the Chief Administrative Officer at any time, as needed. Additionally, the Mayor-President will personally review and sign any documents, such as contracts or ordinances that he has customarily signed as Mayor-President for the past two and a half years of his administration.
Furthermore, the Mayor-President is equipped with a computer with secure wi-fi access to the Lafayette Consolidated Government’s network. The Mayor-President remains available to perform his functions as the Mayor-President of Lafayette remotely. Therefore, the Mayor-President is not “unavailable” within the meaning of Section 3-06 of the LCG Home Rule Charter.Lafayette Consolidated Government Attorney Greg Logan
The joint statement by the City and Parish councils reads as follows:
On behalf of both the Parish Council and City Council, we the members extend our best wishes to the Mayor-President on his journey to recovery. We send our heartfelt prayers to him and his family during this difficult time. As to the governance of the City and Parish, in the absence of the Mayor-President, the leadership of the Councils are still in the process of reviewing the applicable provisions of the Charter and will be addressing that matter in the coming days.Lafayette Parish Council Chairman AB Rubin and Lafayette City Council Chairwoman Nanette S. Cook
Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber’s statement reads as follows:
Having served with United States Military in Iraq alongside those on the front lines in active combat, and as an elected official myself, Mayor-President Guillory’s statement hits close to home in more ways than one.
I commend Mayor-President Guillory for prioritizing his mental health and wellbeing above all else. His strength and candor in pursuit of recovery should serve as an encouraging example for anyone who is struggling to seek help.Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber