JP President Mike Yenni addresses texting controversy in commercial

JP President Mike Yenni addresses texting controversy in commercial

(WVUE) - Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni apologized Thursday for his involvement in a texting controversy with a 17-year-old male in the summer of 2015.

In a highly unusual move, Yenni bought one minute of television commercial time to address the matter instead of holding a press conference or doing an interview.

Yenni produced a one-minute commercial saying he sent improper texts to a "young man."  Yenni chose not to identify the young man in the ad.

"I apologize to the families involved and anyone who I embarrassed especially my own family and the people of Jefferson," Yenni said in the commercial.

Eight months ago, a New Orleans teen wrote a blog post on "The Tab" about an anonymous politician that FOX 8 sources say is Mike Yenni. In the blog the young man, who is now 19, wrote, "It was exciting. I was seventeen at the time and flattered to think a married guy wanted to break vows just to be with me." He also said, quote, "we kissed briefly."

The teen detailed a month-long relationship with Yenni, who was the Kenner mayor at the time. The teen said it ended with, "my frustration at his generally bland attitude about the gravity of the situation. I blocked his number and we have not spoken since."

Yenni apologized for some of his actions with the teenager in the ad.

The commercial airs on the same day Yenni gave notice that he was deployed by the U.S. Naval Reserve to help respond to Hurricane Matthew on the East Coast.

In a memo to all council members, Yenni wrote that he received military orders for deployment through Oct. 15. He's a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve. The memo said in his absence, parish Chief Operating Officer Keith Conley will be acting president.

The FBI confirmed a statement they made back in November of last year that they were made aware of the allegations and at that time were looking into them. It's unclear if the FBI is still doing so.

WVUE asked for an interview with Parish President Yenni and is waiting for a response.

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