Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni will respond at 10 p.m. Thursday to allegations he sent sexually explicit text messages to a teenage boy last year. Yenni sent a one-minute prerecorded message to local television stations to play during their newscasts.
Exactly what Yenni would say was not immediately clear, though a news release from media consultant Greg Buisson said Yenni would open with the statement, “I am addressing you in this commercial because I didn’t want my words edited.”
WWL-TV Channel 4, which first broke the news of the allegations on Sept. 29, said it would air the response free of charge.
Tim Ingram, general manager for WVUE-TV, told The Advocate that Yenni was paying for the 60-second spot, and that it was being treated just as any other political advertisement would be. Ingram said he had viewed the commercial but that reporters at the station were not allowed to watch it.
Calls to news directors at the other two local news stations were not immediately returned.
Yenni notified the Parish Council on Thursday that he has left town to assist with recovery efforts related to Hurricane Matthew as part of his regular deployment for the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Yenni, a lieutenant and public affairs officer, said he expects to be deployed helping along the Florida coast and other impacted areas until Oct. 15.
Yenni has been publicly silent since Thursday, when WWL-TV, citing sources, reported that the FBI has interviewed at least four people about texts Yenni sent to the young man, whom he met at an event at Jesuit High School. One of the texts included a proposal for group sex involving the two of them and a third person.
WWL spoke to the youth but did not identify him by name in the report.
The teenager told the station he met Yenni, who is married, in 2015, when Yenni was mayor of Kenner. The youth said Yenni later met him at a mall food court where the youth worked, gave him some designer underwear and briefly kissed him in the restroom.
The FBI has been looking into allegations that Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni sent se…
Yenni has not commented on the matter, saying he has not been contacted by any law enforcement organization and doesn’t believe he has violated any laws.