JEFFERSON, La. (WGNO) – Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni has released a video response to allegations that he sent sexually explicit text messages to a 17-year-old boy in 2015.
Here's his response:
Last summer, I was old enough to know better, but I guess I was still young enough to do something stupid. I chose to send improper texts to a young man.
I won’t go into details out of respect for the rights and privacy of all parties. I made a bad decision. I regret my actions. I apologize to the families involved, and any people I embarrassed, especially my own family and the people of Jefferson.
Now, I will work every day to prove that good people can rise from a bad decision.
I want to reassure the citizens of Jefferson that I never abused or misused my powers as a public official, and I’m certainly not afraid of the future, because I’m smart enough to never repeat the past. Thank you.
Yenni paid to air the same commercial seen above in local 10 p.m. newscasts, including News with a Twist.
“I am addressing you in this commercial because I didn’t want my words edited,” Yenni said.
Yenni was deployed at 6 a.m. Thursday to assist with Hurricane Matthew as it heads to the East Coast, a day after civic groups and business leaders called for his resignation at the Jefferson Parish Council meeting. He is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Yenni reportedly exchanged sexually explicit text messages with a teenager in 2015 while he was the mayor of Kenner. He's also been accused of offering 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. Although 17 is the legal age for sexual consent in Louisiana, there is a federal law that prohibits suggestive text messages to persons who are under the age of 18.