For most of this year, St. Mary Parish Sheriff Blaise Smith has been out of the office and the public eye due to an unknown health condition. In response to questions submitted to Smith's office on Tuesday morning, Smith released the following statement.
"First and foremost, I'd like to thank everyone for their continued prayers, good wishes, kind words, and support. Over the past few months, I have been in the hospital fighting an undiagnosed illness. There have been complications on my road to recovery, but I am now at home resting and continuing my rehabilitation. In my absence, the men and women of the SMPSO have done an exemplary job in ensuring all functions of the Sheriff’s Office have operated as normal.
Regarding my return to work, it will coincide with my improved health."