Legal Opinion: How Will Josh Guillory Continue to Govern While in Rehab?
With the announcement today that Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory is entering rehab for possible alcohol addiction and untreated PTSD, many people are wondering "How will the Mayor-President be able to govern while in rehab?"
As explained by Guillory's Deputy Chief of Staff Jamie Angelle, Guillory remains Chief Executive Officer of the City of Lafayette, the Parish of Lafayette, and the City-Parish Government. This means he is available to exercise all general executive and administrative authority over all administrative functions, and departments of Lafayette Consolidated Government in accordance with the Charter.
But how is that possible for Guillory to do while he focuses on recovery?
Special arrangements were made for Guillory with the in-patient treatment facility so that 24-hour access to him would be allowed. Guillory has with him a computer with secure wi-fi access to the Lafayette Consolidated Government's network so that he can remain available to perform his functions remotely. Also, he can be reached by the City-Parish Attorney or the Chief Administrative Officer at any time.
And, Guillory will still personally review and sign any documents including contracts or ordinances that require his signature.
Angelle points out that under Section 3-06 of the LCG Home Rule Charter, the Mayor-President is not "unavailable."
(ORIGINAL STORY): Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced he has made the decision to enter rehab for possible alcohol addiction and untreated PTSD.
Guillory made the announcement via press release on Monday morning citing a recent dependency on alcohol after his workdays. The Mayor-President says that while the dependency has not "had a direct impact" on his duties as the leader of our community, it has affected other parts of his life including his family.
Over the weekend, Mayor-President Guillory says he made the decision to check himself into a 21-day in-patient rehab program to help what he believes to be an addiction to alcohol as well as untreated PTSD.
Here is the full statement from Mayor-President Guillory:
Lafayette, LA – 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.
While Guillory is going through his 21-day program, "special arrangements" will allow him to continue his day-to-day work as Mayor-President. Directions on city-parish matters will come from team members Greg Logan (Lafayette City-Parish Attorney) and Cydra Wingerter (LCG CAO).
We hope Mayor-President Guillory receives the treatment he needs while in rehab and will update this story with any more information if and when it is made available.