In 1839, he was appointed sub-prefect. Then, nine years later, he was in favor of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. On 24 January 1851, he was in charge of the Ministry of the Interior for a few months under the Second Republic. He was then elected Member of Parliament and then senator. On 4 March 1853, by imperial decree, he was appointed to oversee the administration of Rhône department, i.e. Prefect of Lyon. He also served as mayor although the title has been deleted. He developed a voluntary policy of urbanization of the city, along the lines of that carried out by Baron Haussmann in Paris.
A memorial pays tribute to him in the Parc de la Tête d'Or (on the Belvedere, near the velodrome) and a small street named after him in the 6th arrondissement of Lyon, between the Avenue Foch and the Place d'Helvétie.