Yenni in Norfolk for Navy assignment amid sexting scandal

Just what is Mike Yenni doing as a naval reservist during Hurricane Matthew while a storm of controversy brews around him.

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni will be on active duty in Virginia while the scandal surrounding him unfolds back home.

Yenni was recalled to active duty in support of military operations as Hurricane Matthew approached the Florida coast. Yenni is a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve, under the command of the Naval Public Affairs Support Element.

According to Naval Reserve Commander Doug Gabos, Yenni is on orders and temporarily assigned to the Naval Operational Support Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

"In his status as a public affairs officer, Lt. Yenni will be monitoring press reporting of the hurricane, as well as preparing and reviewing communication plans,” Gabos said.

Gabos did not have details on how Yenni was selected for the mission.

Some of Yenni's constituents view his sudden hurricane deployment as a convenient way to escape his own storm, surrounding a sexting scandal involving a 17-year-old boy.

However, attorney and retired Navy Commander John Wells says the Navy has strict operating procedures when it comes to recalling reserve officers to active duty.

"It is possible that he called somebody and said, ‘hey, I'd like to come on active duty to help for this thing,’" Wells said. “But, that's probably unlikely, it would be more likely that they needed somebody with his specialty, which I believe was public affairs, for a certain period of time and he was either hand selected for it or he volunteered for it."

Wells, who is also the Executive Director of the Military Veterans Advocacy, Inc., added that the Navy can't force a reservist to return to active duty for this type of mission.

"The individual can only be recalled with his own consent," Wells said. "He can't be forcibly called up like they can for certain combat operations."

Yenni is expected to remain on his Navy assignment through October 15.

(© 2016 WWL)


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