Yenni says he'll have statement today

Embattled Parish President Mike Yenni, returned from lunch at mid-day and said he would issue a statement later Monday.

JEFFERSON, La. – Embattled Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni has called his top aides to a mandatory 5 p.m. staff meeting at the parish's east bank office, sources told Eyewitness News.

At some point thereafter, it is expected that he will have a statement regarding his situation. Yenni told reporters that he would have a statement "later today" as he returned from lunch and walked back into his office building.

What the meeting is about remains unknown, but it was called a day after Yenni, who is embroiled in a sexting scandal, returned from duty with the U.S. Navy reserves, during which time he was sent to Norfolk, Virginia, to assist with public information duties as Hurricane Matthew made its way toward the east coast.

The New Orleans Advocate reported that Keith Conley, the parish's chief administrative officer, said any "questions ... about the recent reports ... will be dealt with" if they come up. But it will otherwise be a typical staff meeting, he said.

"This is a business meeting like ones in conference rooms all across the country," Conley told The Advocate. "Nothing's changed. We are all still in step."

Regardless of what happens during the meeting, it will go on as even more Jefferson officials call for Yenni to step down.

Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich, Assessor Tom Capella and Clerk of Court John Gegenheimer on Monday issued a statement and joined the chorus of those saying that Yenni should step down.

"The troubling admissions during the last few days compel us to urge Jefferson Parish President Mike Yennis to step down," said the statement, issued about 2 p.m. "We issue this plea with heavy hearts, as Mr. Yenni has done some good things on behalf of his constituents."

The Jefferson Parish Public School System was drafting a resolution to keep Yenni off its school campuses.

Yenni last week broadcast a 1-minute commercial in which he admitted to sending an “improper text to a young man.” That statement followed a WWL-TV investigation that revealed the FBI has interviewed at least four people about the texts with the 17-year-old high-school student.

Yenni also said in his statement that he would not resign from his post and instead would work to redeem himself.

Following the statement, the entire Jefferson Parish council and Sheriff Newell Normand called for Yenni’s resignation.

He has not responded to those requests.

Meanwhile, Kenner City Councilman Gregory Carroll – a candidate for mayor of Kenner – called for an investigation into Kenner’s Youth Advisory Council.

Carroll said he wants to ensure that Yenni, who was mayor of Kenner prior to taking the parish’s top seat, did not inappropriately interact with participants he chose.

Yenni did respond to that request in a statement, saying “I support Councilman Carroll’s willingness to talk to the participants in the Youth Advisory Committee.”

WWL-TV investigative reporter Mike Perlstein contributed to this report.

(© 2016 WWL)


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