Supervisor Jeff Stone (3rd District) is the new chair of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors for 2014. As his first act, he is honoring former Chair John Benoit (4th District) for his service during 2013.
John Benoit, Riverside County supervisor and chair of the board, died yesterday from pancreatic cancer. He “passed away peacefully this evening at his home in Bermuda Dunes,” according to the Riverside County press release.

Benoit represented the 4th District, which is the desert cities and east to the Colorado River. Prior to his appointment to the Board of Supervisors, he was the assemblyman (2003 to 2008) and state senator (2008 to 2009) for Idyllwild and the Hill communities.

Benoit announced his cancer diagnosis in November and fought to overcome it since then. He reduced his time with the board but continued to do some work.

At that time, he said, “… I intend to continue attending Board of Supervisors Meetings, but I may utilize video or teleconferencing.”

Less than two months later, Benoit, 64, one day before his 65th birthday, passed away at his home Monday.

He is survived by his wife, Sheryl; son Ben (Jaimie); daughter Sarah; brothers Mark and Paul; and grandchildren Abrielle and Nick.

Before politics, Benoit served 31 years in law enforcement. He retired after 29 years with the California Highway Patrol. His last assignment was area commander for the Indio District.