President Matassa proclaims Jeffrey F. Wiley Day

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Front row, left to right: Audrey Lanoux, Erin Wiley Lanoux, President Kenny Matassa, Sheriff Jeff Wiley, Alex Wiley, Linda Wiley, Sarah Wiley Recile, Sophie Recile, Scottie Recile, and Abbey Lanoux. Middle row, left to right: Councilman Randy Clouatre, Jay Lanoux, and Shane Recile. Back row, left to right: Council members Daniel Satterlee, Dempsey Lambert, Aaron Lawler, Teri Casso, Bill Dawson, Todd Lambert, Oliver Joseph, John Cagnolatti, and Benny Johnson.

Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa has proclaimed December 31, 2018 as Jeffrey F. Wiley Day. He did so because that is the last day in office of the six-term sheriff.

According to the proclamation, Jeffrey F. Wiley was born on January 1, 1951 in Refugio, Texas, the third of five children to Jack and Viola Johnson Wiley. He graduated from East Ascension High School in 1969 and from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1974 with a Bachelor's Degree in Education.

Jeff Wiley served his country honorably in the United States Marine Corps from 1970 to 1974. He attended Advanced Military Police Training at Fort Gordon, Georgia and graduated from numerous other military schools, including the Non-Commissioned Officer Leadership School at Parris Island, South Carolina.

He married Linda Waguespack on July 7, 1973, and together they have two daughters: Sara Wiley Recile, who is married to Shane Recile, and Erin Wiley Lanoux, who is married to Jay Lanoux. They also have five grandchildren: Sophie and Scott Recile, and Abby, Audrey, and Alex Lanoux.

Jeff Wiley began his career with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office as a patrol officer in 1974, and he was promoted to the Detective Division in 1975, specializing in Juvenile Justice. He organized several key initiatives, such as the Junior Deputy Program and the Sheriff’s Youth Adult League. He transferred to the Ascension Parish School Board in 1980 as the Coordinator of Student Services and initiated several innovative programs, such as the Substance Abuse Education Program and the placement of substance abuse counselors in the schools.

Wiley was summoned back to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in 1988 by Sheriff Harold Tridico and appointed Chief Criminal Deputy. During his tenure, he helped guide the department through the unprecedented population growth Ascension Parish has experienced. He spearheaded the creation of the department's first full-time Narcotics Division and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program. He was elected Sheriff and took office July 1, 1996. He was reelected five times, each time with an overwhelming percentage of the vote or with no opposition at all.

He has received innumerable awards, accolades, honors, and distinctions. He has been recognized by multiple community, civic, governmental, and law enforcement groups in the community, parish, state, and nationally.

After nearly five decades of service, six-term Sheriff Jeff Wiley has decided to hang up his badge and retire at the end the year, to allow the next generation to step up and carry on his traditions.

Matassa congratulated Wiley on his retirement and thanked him for his dedication and his lifetime of service to the people of Ascension Parish.

Contributed by Ascension Parish Government