Jefferson County Manager to take leave of absence for cancer tre - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Jefferson County Manager to take leave of absence for cancer treatments

Tony Petelos (Source: WBRC video) Tony Petelos (Source: WBRC video)

Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos says he will be taking a leave of absence to be treated for cancer. Petelos made the announcement during the Jefferson County Commission meeting on Thursday. He says he just found out this week.

Petelos says he was a basket case after his doctors made the diagnosis, but now he is ready to do battle with the disease.

Petelos met with his family on Wednesday and decided on a course of action which includes taking a leave of absence in June.

"My family and I got together. We are looking forward to moving forward to beat this cancer. I'll come back to work and I'll be working as hard as I was ever before," said Petelos.

The county manager is not saying what type of cancer he has. Petelos says after meeting with his family, he felt better and slept well before showing up for work.

Petelos says he drawing on those who have battled cancer and won, including Commissioner Sandra Little Brown and his long time friend, Robin Demonia. The county manager knows it is a tough battle ahead, but he remains optimistic.

Petelos said Brown, who beat breast cancer, is an inspiration to him.

"He has to stay positive, and stay strong, with the mindset that ‘I'm going to beat this and I'm gonna get back to work where I belong," Brown said.

"We just assured him that we would pray for him and we told him we'd support him in whenever he decided to make it public," County Commission President David Carrington said.

Petelos and Jefferson County commissioners say they are confident people in the county manager's office will continue to run the county well. Next week, the Jefferson County Commission will meet and discuss the situation even more about the county's operation without Petelos for the forseeable future.

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