Top administrator resigns from Lafourche government

Lafourche Parish Administrator Don Matherne is stepping down from his position after seven months on the job.

The parish announced Matherne’s resignation Wednesday evening, with Matherne saying he wanted to spend more time with family and pursue other interests.

“I would like to thank Mr. Jimmy for the ability to work with him in the first months of his administration. I learned a lot and am glad I was able to help contribute to getting things going. I have no doubt great things are in store for Lafourche under his leadership,” Matherne said.

Cantrelle appointed Matherne to the position in January after taking office. Matherne had previously worked with the United Parcel Service and is a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves. Cantrelle thanked Matherne for his time working with Lafourche Parish.

“Don was a great help to me in forming my administration and putting it in a place to succeed. I wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Cantrelle.

Matherne’s exit could be one of a few shakeups for Cantrelle’s administration in the coming weeks. Freddia Ruffin-Roberson, executive director of Community Action, could also be on the outs, pending a council vote. Councilman Jerry LaFont put the vote on firing Ruffin-Roberson on the Aug. 9 council meeting agenda, but he delayed it for two weeks, citing a need to gather more information. LaFont again delayed the vote at the Aug. 23 meeting.

Last week’s agenda also featured resolutions to switch roles in the parish’s communications department. The four resolutions would have moved Deputy Director of Communications Caroline Eschette into the director position, currently occupied by Doug Cheramie. Cheramie would have taken over the deputy position. However, those four resolutions and another rescinding the appointment of Grayling Hadnott as the Director of Grants and Economic Development were removed.

The Times contacted Cantrelle for comment on the possible department head moves, but he has not returned the call. •