GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni addressed the Jefferson Parish Council and the public Wednesday morning, saying the controversy over texts he sent to a 17-year-old has been demoralizing, but he won't bow to pressure to step down.
After the statement, the council unanimously issued a vote of no confidence and approved a resolution urging Yenni to resign.
At the start of the meeting, Yenni spoke and then before the council was to vote on a resolution urging him to resign. Both times he expressed regret but maintained he would stay on the job.
People attending the meeting held signs urging Yenni to resign over sending inappropriate text messages to a young man. Some people also wore shirts in support of Yenni. Last week, a recall petition drive began.
Yenni said he doesn't expect the council or the people he has disappointed to ever forget what he called his "iniquity," but he asked for mercy.
And just before the council voted on the resolution urging him to step down, he called this the most demoralizing period of his life.
"My disappointment is solely with me. I am deeply sorry for my actions. This is now a personal matter," Yenni said "They were personal actions between me and a college-bound legal adult of which I did not meet or speak to this person at any high school function."
"You're going to be holding on this selfishly," said Jefferson Parish resident George Peterson. "Please, Mike, listen to the people of Jefferson Parish."
Other residents defended Yenni's attempt to remain in office.
"First of all I'm not supporting his actions, but there's no charge that's been brought against this man," said Abry Wallace.
A recall drive is underway, but most agree that getting enough signatures within six months to recall a public official is an uphill battle.
But those who want Yenni out think they have a momentum on their side.
In addition to the entire parish council, most top elected parish-wide leaders have also called on Yenni to resign.