Having just six months left to his administration before a vote for re-election, Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle has two key personnel vacancies to fill, following their resignations last week.
Parish Administrative Director Timothy Vedros and Parish Human Resources Director Emily Knight, both resigned within days of each other last week.
Vedros resigned on June 4, saying that his duties were in direct conflict with his duties as a Deacon in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.
Knight resigned on June 6, with no public explanation.
Unless he discusses the vacancies with the council on June 11, Cantrelle said Monday, that he will advertise for both jobs.
However, Parish Risk Manager Brent Abadie said that will be a tough task since the Cantrelle administration will technically end Dec 31, unless Cantrelle is reelected.
Vedros had been on the job since late February, after the council approved his hiring on Feb 26. The process to hire Vedros was long and several other candidates were turned down by the council.
In his resignation letter, he wrote that deacons are to, “refrain from most political activity.”
He also stated that he would not be able to fill the duties of parish president, in the event that he would be called on to do so, under the Lafourche Parish Charter.
“After much soul-searching in prayer, I have concluded that it is not a good fit for me to attempt to fulfill my commitments to the church at the same time as performing the duties of parish administrator. My faith is foremost in my heart. Therefore, I am compelled to tender my resignation from service in the government of Lafourche Parish effective immediately,” Vedros said.
Knight, who resigned on June 6, had a much shorter letter - it was roughly 40 words, “Please accept this as formal notification that affective close of business June 6, I am resigning my position as director of human resources.”
Abadie said filling Vedros’ and Knights’ roles will be tough, “Who wants a job that technically provides only six months of job security? However, we will advertise and try our best to find quality people.”
“We respect Mr. Vedros’ decision, “ Abadie said.
Cantrelle said he believes Knight wanted to spend more time with her son, and so he respected her wishes as well.
Council Chairman Armand “Noonie” Autin was disappointed with Vedros’ resignation.
“It is unfortunate and I wished it could have worked out. Mr. Vedros had the full support of the council. I’m not really sure what happened,” Autin said.
Councilman Jerry Jones said roughly two weeks ago, Vedros had called a meeting to which he (Jones) was not informed.
“When I confronted him, he said, ‘Whoopsee, Whoopsee,’ and so my response to his resignation is, whoopsee, whoopsee,” Jones said.
Councilman Daniel Lorraine said he could not comment on either resignation.
However, he said when the vote was called to hire Vedros, he was told that Vedros was an ideal candidate, because he was “a deacon in the church, and that he was honest.”
“Does that make anyone else who had the job, or anyone that we spoke to about the job, not honest? What does that mean?” Lorraine asked.
Read the two resignation letters below: