METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish attorney Robbie Evans filed a petition with the secretary of state's office for the recall of embattled Parish President Mike Yenni.
Yenni admitted on Oct. 6 that he was involved in a texting controversy with a 17-year-old male in the summer of 2015.
Evans said he filed the petition because he is "disgusted" with Yenni's behavior. He said the "immoral and totally unacceptable behavior" left the parish president unfit to serve in office.
Since the admission, the parish council, sheriff and several leaders in parish municipalities have called for Yenni to step down from his position. Yenni said he will not resign his elected office.
Yenni, who was not Parish President at the time of the incident, asked parish council members to allow him the opportunity to "separate (his) personal challenge from (his) public responsibility."
Yenni released this statement Wednesday afternoon:
"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."
The petition must be signed by 33.3% of the qualified electors of the voting area wherein a recall election is petitioned, according to the secretary of state. Jefferson Parish has a population of more than 430,000 people, although not all of them are registered voters.
Evans will have six months to get those signatures.