NEW ORLEANS -- Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni was leaving for deployment with the Navy Reserve to support Hurricane Matthew response on the East Coast, but not before recording a one-minute commercial to air Thursday night as a response to a WWL-TV report that aired a week ago.
WWL-TV has agreed to air the commercial free of charge during its 10 p.m. newscast.
WWL-TV reported Sept. 29 that the FBI is looking into Yenni’s alleged explicit texts with a 17-year-old boy and has interviewed at least four people about texts that seek sex with the teen and ask the young man to model underwear he said Yenni bought for him.
Yenni was expected to speak at Wednesday’s parish council meeting in Kenner, but sent his top aide instead, who said Yenni would probably give a statement to the media Thursday.
But Thursday morning, shortly before Yenni was scheduled to speak about a tax millage at a meeting of the Westbank Business and Industry Association, Yenni sent a memo to council members advising them he had been deployed to the East Coast and would not be back until Oct. 15. Yenni is a lieutenant public information officer in the Navy Reserve.
Shortly after noon, Yenni’s public relations adviser, Greg Buisson, put out a statement saying a one-minute commercial would air Thursday evening.
The statement from Buisson says Yenni begins the recorded message by saying, “I am addressing you in this commercial because I didn’t want my words edited.”
The statement released by Buisson gives no indication how Yenni’s statement will address the allegations.
WWL-TV has offered several times over the last four months to sit with Yenni and go over the allegations, before the station aired the initial report. He was asked for an interview in person during the June 22 council meeting and declined. Each time the station asked, he declined or did not respond.