KENNER, La. (WGNO) – Leaders of Citizens for a Better Kenner have asked the Jefferson Parish Council to request the immediate resignation of Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni.
The discussion happened Wednesday morning at the Jefferson Parish Council meeting. Yenni was not in attendance. The Jefferson Parish chief operating officer read a statement on his behalf and said Yenni believed his presence at the meeting would be a disruption to council members trying to conduct business. He said he’ll address the allegations later this week.
Multiple media outlets have reported that Yenni, while mayor of Kenner, exchanged explicit text messages with a teenager in 2015 and even offered the boy a job at the mayor’s office so they could spend more time together. The FBI has confirmed that it is investigating the text messages.
Yenni reportedly met the teenager at a Jesuit High School commencement lunch in 2015. The New Orleans Advocate reported that Yenni bought a ticket to this year’s Jesuit event in April, but Jesuit officials let him know he would not be welcome.
“Our major concern is the alleged exploitation of teenagers from Mr. Yenni,” Citizens for a Better Kenner said in a prepared statement. “This isn’t tolerated from anyone. The fact that he offered this teen a job in his office just to be near him is not acceptable. Why would that be any different than paying a prostitute with a government credit card?”
Several other concerned residents spoke at Wednesday’s council meeting and demanded his resignation,.
“We deserve a face of integrity and not a face of controversy,” one woman said. “We can do better than this. I’m embarrassed. Please address this now. Don’t hide.”