Attorney Robert Evans, III sits by signs for a recall effort, headed by Evans, of embattled Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni, who admitted sexting a 17-year-old student, at the Parish Council meeting in Elmwood, La. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

An attorney for the Metairie lawyer who filed the recall petition against Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni told a judge Monday that volunteers helping the effort will not be encouraged to collect signatures closer than 600 feet from the polls during Tuesday’s presidential election.

That commitment from lawyer Robert Evans III, who filed the recall petition against Yenni last month over a sexting scandal, came during a hearing on a lawsuit filed Sunday night by Allison Bent, a member of the Jefferson Parish Republican Executive Committee. 

The 600-foot limit is outlined in state law, but Evans has been waging a legal battle on several fronts to get volunteers as close as 100 feet, claiming a Louisiana Supreme Court decision found the 600-foot buffer unconstitutional.

That effort, which involves suits against Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer in 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna and against the state Attorney General's Office in 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, won't be decided in time for Tuesday’s election, which is expected to bring people out to vote in very large numbers.

Evans had hoped to gather tens of thousands of signatures at polling places Tuesday. His drive needs to collect 90,000 signatures of registered Jefferson Parish voters to force an election on whether Yenni should continue in office.  

Despite his belief in the 100-foot buffer, Evans “is going to agree not to have recall operations take place (closer than) 600 feet from polling places,” 24th Judicial District Judge Stephen Enright said, explaining his interpretation of a joint motion between the two sides Monday morning.

Evans’ attorney, Joshua Allison, clarified that Evans would do so “to the extent he has control" over campaign volunteers.

Enright is still scheduled on Nov. 14 to take up Recall Yenni’s suit seeking to block Gegenheimer from enforcing the 600-foot law during the Dec. 10 runoff elections.

WWL-TV reported in late September that Yenni is under FBI investigation for sending sexually suggestive text messages to a 17-year-old boy he saw at a high school graduation event.

Yenni has resisted calls from the Parish Council and virtually all parishwide elected officials to resign, saying the matter is personal and does not prevent him from doing his job.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.