OPELOUSAS, La. - St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot announced that he would take a leave of absence to recuperate from an illness not related to the recent coronavirus outbreak, according to a press release from Van Reed, St. Landry Parish Director of Emergency Preparedness.
Fontenot has been diagnosed with a type of skin cancer known as Squamous Cell Carcinoma. His physician has assured him that this type of cancer is curable, and he has begun treatment.
"I've been advised by my physician to take some time to recover and focus on my health," said Fontenot. "I feel good, and I'm ready to fight this and get back to work."
Fontenot has given administrative authority to St. Landry Parish Director of Finance and Chief Operating Officer Amanda Cain and Administrative Coordinator Richard Lucito, to run the day-to-day operations of the parish while he is out of the office.
"I have full faith in Amanda and Richard," said Fontenot. "I'll be checking in regularly with them and acting in a consulting capacity until I am able to return to the office and continue working for the people of St. Landry Parish."
In executive orders 2020-1 and 2020-2, Fontenot granted authority to Cain to sign all documents on his behalf and for both Cain and Lucito to act as his designee until the president returns to work.
The St. Landry Parish Council members were notified of Fontenot's decision to take medical leave and his decision to appoint Cain and Lucito to manage the president's office while he is away.
Fontenot was re-elected to his third term as parish president in November 2019.