Col. John Fortunato steps down from position with JPSO to run for sheriff

METAIRIE – Longtime Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer John Fortunato is stepping down to run for Jefferson Parish sheriff.

Fortunato, one of three PIOs working at the JPSO, has been a public spokesman for the department for 46 years.

“Public information officer is a demanding job and important to the operations of the JPSO,” Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said. “Johnny has served this department for many years and we’re grateful. We wish him well.”

Lopinto, who served as JPSO’s chief of operations and chief criminal deputy, was sworn in as interim sheriff Aug. 31.

He replaces Newell Normand, who announced his retirement in late July. Normand replaced Garland Robinette on the WWL radio airwaves.

Lopinto, who is also running for sheriff, will serve as interim sheriff until the Jefferson Parish Council calls for a special election.

Normand has thrown his support behind Lopinto.