Petition to recall Mike Yenni now collecting signatures

Paul Murphy talks about the first signatures gathered for a petition against Parish President Mike Yenni.

METAIRIE - One day after Metairie attorney Robert Evans filed a petition to recall Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni, a stack of petitions were on the counter at Jimmy Duckworth Tires on Metairie Road.

Gregory McKeel, a delivery driver from Avondale was the first Jefferson Parish voter to sign the petition.

"A grown man, talking to a young child like that, doing that is just very inappropriate, especially a public official in office," McKeel said.

Yenni has admitted to sending inappropriate text messages to a 17-year-old boy.

According to a WWL-TV investigation, the teenager also claims Yenni kissed him in a bathroom at Lakeside Shopping Center.

Jimmy Duckworth was the first JP business owner to collect recall signatures.

"I feel as though we should have stellar and outstanding officials at every level," Duckworth said. "I just can't stand the thought of what the man agreed that he did."

Duckworth added he is already taking steps to make sure voters know they can sign the recall petition at his shop.

"I'm going to cover up one of my business signs that indicates I change oil for a living and I'm going to put a Recall Mike Now! as soon as possible," Duckworth said. "I ordered the sign about 20 minutes ago."

Thursday, Gretna attorney Patrick Hand III, signed on to lead the Yenni recall effort on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish.

"He won't resign," Hand said. "Everybody I know of, wants him to resign. We're going to have to force the issue."

Hand was one of the organizers of the citizens group that led the successful campaign to "Stop the Tolls" on the Crescent City Connection bridge over the Mississippi River.

"I think that the biggest thing that the Stop the Tolls campaign proved to people is that we can make a difference," Hand said.

The recallyenni.com website was also up and running on Thursday

Voters won't be able to actually sign the petition on line, but, organizers will take people's information on the website, then collect their signatures on a paper petition.

Organizers say they need to get about 95,000 signatures to force a recall election.<

Wednesday, Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni released a statement in response to the recall effort:

"I will abide by the will of the people.  I have acknowledged my mistake, and I have taken full responsibility.  I have also vowed to focus my attention on governing and meeting the demands that I am expected to meet.  I have not violated my oath, nor have I abused or misused the power of my office.  I have, in no way, given anyone cause to believe that I am not doing the job that I was elected to do.  The incident at the center of this allegation is personal, and I was not Parish President at the time of the incident.  There has been no misuse of tax dollars or public assets.  I can hope the people of Jefferson will afford me the opportunity to prove that I will separate my personal challenge from my public responsibility, and that I can rise above this." 

 

(© 2016 WWL)


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