In with the new: Three new faces replace longtime sheriffs to lead south Louisiana

BATON ROUGE — Three new sheriffs have been sworn in and are undergoing their first official week on the job in South Louisiana, replacing longtime leadership in their respective parishes.

The new sheriffs are Gerald Sticker in Tangipahoa Parish, Jeff Bergeron in West Baton Rouge Parish, and Clay Chutz in St. Helena Parish.

Tangipahoa Parish

For the first time in 20 years, Tangipahoa Parish has a new sheriff. Gerald Sticker was sworn in on Sunday and began his first day on the job on July 1.

Sticker, 52, defeated former sheriff’s deputy Chris Gideon in November with over 60% of the vote. He served as Mandeville’s police chief from 2016 to 2021 and is believed to be the first Republican sheriff in the parish since the original sheriff was appointed in 1869. Sticker is a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.

The previous sheriff, Daniel Edwards, brother of former governor John Bel Edwards, announced his retirement and did not seek reelection. This change marks the first time in nearly 60 years that neither an Edwards nor a Layrisson will serve as sheriff in Tangipahoa Parish.

West Baton Rouge Parish

West Baton Rouge Sheriff Jeff Bergeron

West Baton Rouge Parish also has a new sheriff. Jeff Bergeron was elected in November, defeating Leo Fontenot with 68% of the vote.

Bergeron has been the deputy director of investigations with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office since 1992, overseeing criminal investigations within the Cyber Crime Unit, Trial Unit, Special Investigations Unit, and Fugitive Apprehension Unit. He is a 2009 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico and is a POST-certified firearms instructor and POST training coordinator with the AG’s office.

Bergeron replaces longtime sheriff Mike Cazes, who announced his retirement last year.

St. Helena Parish

Clay Chutz has been sworn in as the new sheriff of St. Helena Parish, replacing longtime sheriff Nat Williams, who announced his retirement in 2020.

Chutz won the sheriff’s race in October with 55% of the vote in a crowded field of four candidates. Williams served St. Helena Parish for 38 years, including 17 as sheriff.

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