Longtime Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley retires
ASCENSION PARISH - Known for being candid and often times blunt, Sheriff Jeff Wiley exits a 22-year career in Ascension Parish fully aware of the reputation he's leaving behind.
"People are refreshed by candor and by people who look a camera in the eye, or a reporter in the eye, and say 'this is how I feel about this,'" Wiley said.
Wiley, who became sheriff in 1996 was quickly thrust into the job with one of the most sobering cases of his career: serial killer Daniel Blank.
"It was the wake-up call that Jeff Wiley got and Ascension Parish got when we grew up--me, personally and professionally--when we had a serial killer."
He says after that, he realized what it really meant to be a sheriff.
"It was the reminder, and I thank God for it. Not certainly the heinous crime, but that the sheriff's job, fundamentally, is that people feel safe in their homes. And it was a profound lesson to me, not to take this job lightly," the sheriff said.
Wiley says he hopes the people he served in Ascension will remember him as a person who served his parish with passion.
"I hope it would be 1) that he stayed ahead of the growth in ascension... 2) that he was always transparent and led with the highest of character and that would be enough."
And on his last day, Wiley says walking out the back door was a bittersweet moment.
"I'll look back with the fondest of memories and a high degree of satisfaction for experiences I've been blessed to have."
Wiley's legacy won't be far removed, soon his daughter, Erin Wiley-Lanoux, will be appointed as judge, and his close friend, Chief Bobby Webre will take over his position with the department.