JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - A Jefferson Parish councilwoman says a text message exchange between her and another council member took a bizarre and inappropriate turn recently.
Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vranken called the text "lewd and crass."
She said last week she sent the Jefferson Parish Council an email proposing a special meeting to fill the District 4 vacancy created after Ben Zahn won the Kenner mayoral election. Van Vranken said some council members agreed, but council Chairman Chris Roberts opposed the idea first in an email and then in texts to her personal phone.
The exchange initially pits the two political figures against each other about their choice for the district four seat, but Van Vranken said the text discussion took an abrupt turn when Roberts asked her if she was okay with Parish President Mike Yenni's scandal involving inappropriate texts to a young man. In that text, she said Roberts used very explicit language and graphic descriptions of sexual acts and body parts Yenni allegedly texted to the man.
"I don't want to get into some of the details, because I will tell you some of what he sent I found very lewd," Van Vranken said. "I would not expect my husband, my father, a male colleague to send that to any lady. I found that offensive."
Roberts said he sent the messages only to describe the texts allegedly sent by the parish president.
He declined an on-camera interview but said he only sent the text to "simply relay to her what was said" in Yenni's text.
Roberts wants the public to not only to know about Yenni's sexually exchange, but he wants constituents to know the details of that exchange.
Tuesday, Roberts sent an email to all Jefferson Parish Council members urging them to get on board with Yenni's recall effort and again used language similar to what he sent in a text to Van Vranken.
"What worries me about any of these scenarios is that they are distracting us from the business of parish government. I would hope that we could all continue to focus on doing the business that the people have elected us to do. That is what we should be concerned with and not pointing the finger at others. It's about getting the people's business done," Van Vranken said.
The Jefferson Parish Council meets Wednesday.