Former president of St. Bernard Parish dies
VERRET (AP) - A former president of St. Bernard Parish before and after Hurricane Katrina has died after a long-term illness.
Multiple media outlets report Parish President Guy McInnis confirms that Junior Rodriguez died Thursday at his home in Verret, about 26 miles (41.84 kilometers) southeast of New Orleans. He was 82.
McInnis says Rodriguez will be remembered for his passion and dedication. He ordered all parish flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of Rodriguez, elected in 2004, a year before Katrina.
Rodriguez, who owned a bar, ran a seafood business, trawled for shrimp and ran heavy equipment, was known for his colorful style and often-blunt assessment and criticism of the post-Katrina federal response to the disaster. He was defeated in his re-election bid amid criticism about the parish's lagging recovery.