Normand Announces Retirement And Take Over As New WWL Radio Host
JEFFERSON PARISH – Earlier today, July 25, WWLTV reported that Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand would retire Aug. 31.
“Today is an incredible day for me, but it is a little bittersweet,” said Normand. “Today I announce that I will be retiring on Aug 31 of this year. I have served in public service for 40 years, 37 here in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.”
Surrounded by his family and close friends, Normand announced he would be stepping away from the sheriff’s office, after first being elected in Nov. 2007, to take over the recently vacated Garlin Robinette WWL radio spot.
The press conference, which lasted about 30 minutes, included Normand describing that a good leader knows how to evaluate a situation and when it’s time to leave.
He also noted a good leader always has a succession plan. Normand’s succession plan includes former state Rep. Joe Lopinto. Normand noted that he approached Lopinto several years ago about coming back to the sheriff’s office and that he hoped he prepared Lopinto for duty just as former sheriff Harry Lee prepared him.
Lopinto will be sworn in on Aug. 31.
See the complete WWL report, as well as Normand’s press conference, below.
GRETNA – Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand announced Tuesday he will retire as sheriff as of Aug. 31.
He is leaving to take the radio mic from former WWL Radio host Garland Robinette, who announced his retirement from the station earlier this month.
Normand was the hand-picked successor to the late sheriff Harry Lee, whom voters overwhelming elected and reelected since he took office 10 years ago.
He will be replaced, at least on an interim basis, by former state Rep. Joe Lopinto, who raised eyebrows when he resigned his house seat mid-term to take a job as Normand's legal counsel. He was later named chief criminal deputy.
Story continues under press conference video
Speculation in political circles at the time of Lopinto's departure from the legislature was Normand was grooming Lopinto has his hand-picked successor.
Lopinto is also a former Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputy.
Normand has worked in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office for nearly four decades, serving as chief criminal deputy and chief financial officer, among other positions. According to his bio, Normand began his law enforcement career with the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office.
He first won election in November 2007 with a sweeping 91 percent of the vote after Lee died. While working in Lee's shadow, Normand oversaw many technical operations of the Sheriff's Office. Since taking office, he has enjoyed wild popularity in the parish, winning reelection in 2011 with 92 percent of the vote and 88 percent of the vote in 2015.
During his tenure, Normand has become known for a no-nonsense attitude and often fiery press conferences in which he pointedly and unapologetically criticized people or policies with whom he disagreed.
A fuming Norman excoriated people to "wake up" when some complained about Interstate 10 being closed to rush a deputy to the hospital after he was shot in 2016.
A year earlier, he blasted proponents of legalizing marijuana after his deputies had a shootout with a drug dealer on the West Bank. "We're thinking about decriminalizing marijuana. We think all this s*** is gonna go away when we do so? Hello!" he shouted during a press conference. "The havoc that it'll wreak on our streets will be insurmountable!"
Unlike many of his prior addresses to the media, Normand was jovial in announcing his retirement and became emotional at times. He said he would miss the Sheriff's Office employees and letters from the public thanking his deputies for their service.
"This has been teamwork. No one can do this on their own," he said.
Normand said he's looking forward to his radio-hosting duties since he likes debating, even within the JPSO.
Normand has both a law degree and an MBA, and for years has served on the Board of Directors for East Jefferson General Hospital. He was a key negotiator in attempts to find a private company to lease the hospital in recent years.
–Katie Moore and Danny Monteverde , WWLTV