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Darren Olagues, CEO of Cleco Corporation, speaks during Media Day Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at the Cleco Alternative Energy Center in Crowley, La.

Leslie Westbrook

The chief executive officer who led Cleco through the utility’s $4.9 billion sale – and recently was embroiled with domestic violence allegations – resigned Wednesday morning.

Darren Olagues had been president and chief executive officer of Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC and Cleco Power LLC. The utility sells electricity to 286,000 customers in parts of the parishes on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, in Acadiana and over much of central Louisiana.

The Cleco board appointed William “Bill” Fontenot, Cleco’s chief operating officer, as interim CEO.

Olagues was arrested on Dec. 8 and charged with one count of domestic abuse strangulation in an incident involving his wife. Charges were dropped in January at the request of his wife.

The incident created additional attention because authorities allowed Olagues to bond out of of jail within minutes of his booking.

He shepherded last year the sale of Cleco, based in Pineville, to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, British Columbia Investment Management Corp. with John Hancock Financial and other investors.

Fontenot has worked for Cleco for 30 years. He managed the development and restructuring efforts of generation projects valued at over $900 million, as well as led the development and construction of a $1 billion power plant. In the last five years, he has been responsible for operating the company’s generation, transmission and distribution assets.

Peggy Scott, Cleco board chair, said in a prepared statement that the board would begin a search for a permanent successor to Olagues.

Follow Mark Ballard on Twitter, @MarkBallardCnb.