Louisiana sheriff retiring to take new job in radio
Jul. 25, 2017
GRETNA, La. (AP) — The sheriff of Louisiana's second-largest parish announced Tuesday that he's retiring in order to launch a new career in broadcasting.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told a news conference that after a decade in office he is being hired by radio station WWL in neighboring New Orleans. He will to fill the time slot of retiring on-air host Garland Robinette.
"I'm stepping over the line, as we refer on my side to your side, to the 'dark side,'" Normand told reporters. "And I do so without any regret, either."
New outlets reported Normand plans to leave the sheriff's office Aug. 31. Meanwhile, WWL said the newly retired sheriff's first day on-air will be Sept. 11.
Robinette, whose career in New Orleans broadcasting began in the 1970s, announced his retirement earlier this month. He had worked at WWL since 2005.
"We knew Garland's replacement had to be someone special," Diane Newman, WWL's program director, said in a news release. "Someone with strong opinions, great intellect ... someone who earned the respect, not just of the citizens in our community, but leaders too."
Normand, 59, said he had already decided not to run for another term as sheriff after winning his last re-election race in 2015. He said he was first approached about the radio job in a phone call while he was waiting in line at a Krystal restaurant. The sheriff said it's merely a coincidence that his decision comes a week after his former chief deputy, Craig Taffaro, was indicted on federal tax evasion charges.
Normand's chief of operations and chief criminal deputy, Joe Lopinto, will be sworn in to replace him until a special election is held.