Yenni tells council he will not resign

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JEFFERSON PARISH, La. (WGNO) — In a statement released Monday night, Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni announced that he will not resign in the wake of his recent texting scandal.

In the statement, Yenni said, “…the incident at the center of this allegation is personal.”  Yenni also said the controversy will not impact his abilities to govern the parish.

Last week, Yenni confessed to sending inappropriate text messages to a 17-year-old boy.  The confession came as part of a paid televised statement that aired during local news stations’ evening newscasts.  Since the scandal made news, the parish’s council members, assessor, coroner, sheriff, and clerk of court have all asked him to resign.

“I have read with humility your request for my resignation,” Yenni continued in his statement. “While I understand your position and your concerns, I have and will continue to dutifully perform the obligations of the Office of Parish President.”

In Monday’s statement, Yenni also referred to his televised ad from the previous week.

“As I noted in my statement, my actions are regrettable, and I am penitent.  I have accepted responsibility for my poor judgment, and I apologized publicly to all parties involved.” Yenni reiterated. “I did not violate any laws, I have not been contacted by any investigatory agency, especially the FBI, regarding this allegation.”

“I want to put this in the proper perspective,” he said. “I have been true to the oath that I have taken.  I stated clearly that I never abused or misused my powers as a public official and there has been no misuse of tax dollars or public assets.  And, I will work harder than ever to prove that good can rise from a bad decision.  Because out of struggle comes strength, and I am prepared to prove how strong I will be when fighting for Jefferson Parish.  Therefore, while I respect your concern, I am not resigning from the Office of Parish President. The allegations in no way impact my ability to effectively govern or manage the day-to-day operations of Parish government.”

Yenni also told the council that the texting incident did not happen while he was parish president.  He asked the council for an opportunity to separate his personal challenge from his public responsibility.  He also said that he hopes there’s no, “…rush to judgement” in the case.