Jeff. Co Manager has cancer, will take leave of absence

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) – Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos says he will take a leave of absence beginning in June.

Petelos announced Thursday he has cancer during a county commission meeting.

“I was earlier this week diagnosed with cancer and will be going through treatment and surgery either later this month or first of June,” Petelos said. “Wanted to make the announcement public so that my staff, the department heads and the public will know what’s going on. We have good people here who will fill in for me as I go down this journey of cancer”

Walter Jackson will take over his position in the interim, according to Petelos.

He says his return date is not set at this time.

Petelos has been the Jefferson County Manager since 2011. He left his post as the mayor of Hoover to take the manager position.

“Cancer hits us. It was a total shock to me just like everybody else, but cancer hits,” Petelos said, “I watched Commissioner [Sandra Little] Brown last year fighting it, and she was very strong and was an inspiration to me. And I had no idea today I would be one of those cancer victims. I’m going to do what Commissioner Brown did and be strong and stick to my faith and I will overcome this.”

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