U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise has canceled his appearance at an Oct. 27 fundraiser that he was scheduled to attend as a “special guest” of Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni. Scalise cited recent revelations that the FBI is looking into Yenni's exchange of sexually explicit text messages with a teenage boy.
Scalise's office called last week’s report from WWL-TV "deeply troubling." The station reported that Yenni is being investigated for sending explicit text messages last year to the youth, who was 17 at the time. He is now 19.
Both Yenni and Scalise are Republicans. Scalise, of Metairie, is the majority whip, making him the No. 3-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives.
Citing sources, WWL reported that the FBI has interviewed at least four people about texts Yenni sent to the young man, whom he met at a high school event. 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 teen told the station he met Yenni in 2015, when Yenni was mayor of Kenner and was seeking the parish presidency, a race he won easily later that year. 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.
A spokesman said Yenni would not comment on the matter because he has not been contacted by any law enforcement organization and doesn’t feel he has violated any laws.
Yenni showed up to work about 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Joseph S. Yenni government building in Elmwood but declined to comment to a WWL-TV news crew.