ELMWOOD, LA (WVUE) - In a FOX 8 exclusive interview, Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni said Wednesday that his political rivals are working to exploit his texting controversy.
He made that comment after the letter of a relative was read to the Jefferson Parish Council saying that some Yenni family members support the recall effort against him.
Yenni isn't bowing to pressure to step down. He spoke Wednesday about the recall effort, and also about last night's School Board vote barring him from schools and school functions under threat of arrest.
Yenni: "I think it's - I'm not an attorney so I can't speak on what type of law it holds, but I think it's a little outlandish. I mean, I think it's crazy that they did that."
Reporter: "You've made it clear you're not going to get into any legal waters. Your reaction to what happened a short time ago in the council chambers, one person reading a letter on behalf of your cousin, Michael Yenni Jr., he says his side of the family is supporting the recall effort. Your reaction?"
Yenni: "Just that there was a report in The Advocate some time ago that there's been an ongoing family feud that shouldn't have been public. It has no place in public, it has no place, I think, in the council chambers. But again: Read by one of my opponents from when I was mayor of Kenner, so it doesn't surprise me. So again, how do we even know that that was factually from him?"
Reporter: "Were you surprised by the gentleman that followed?"
Yenni: "No, no, not at all. Another person who, I'm friends with his ex-wife, and you know a lot of people want to think they live in brick homes but they really live in glass homes, and it's a shame that they would stoop to that level and attack people personally on those levels. Anything I've done has not affected my oath of office. The alleged accusations and all took place before I was even parish president, and I just think it's a lot of people with their political agendas."
The Parish Council and many top Jefferson Parish leaders have called on Yenni to resign, but he said he will not. And if voters choose to recall him, he said will deal with that. He said his wife is solidly behind him.