LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The Lafayette parish and city councils have asked the La. Attorney General’s Office to consider their points of view as the consolidated government awaits a legal opinion over whether or not Mayor-President Josh Guillory can retain leadership while in rehab.
The councils provided “clarification and appropriate context” in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Landry today that was shared with media outlets. The entire letter can be read below.
Guillory admitted himself to rehab in Texas for 21 days starting on Monday, July 25 for “an addiction to alcohol and untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” according to his press release. According to the Lafayette City-Parish Charter, “When the Mayor-President is absent from and unavailable to Lafayette Parish for more than 48 hours, the powers and duties of the office of Mayor-President shall be exercised by a member of the City Council or Parish Council jointly appointed by the chair of each Council.”
The issue at hand is whether or not Guillory can be considered “unavailable” in an age where cell phones, wi-fi, and video conferencing are available. Guillory has already asked Landry for an opinion in the matter, but today’s letter by the councils seeks to add information to that conversation.
In today’s letter, the two councils are asking Landry to “…acknowledge the eliminated, or, at best, significantly diminished possibility for the citizens of Lafayette Parish to either get to or use the direct service of the Mayor-President…”
The councils also say that Guillory administration officials have not allowed the councils to verify Guillory’s actual availability. They argue that his absence from Lafayette doesn’t allow the councils to verify which documents Guillory has personally seen or handled.
The issue is particularly delicate, considering the city-parish government is entering its budget negotiations for the upcoming year.