The scandal involving Republican Mike Yenni, the former mayor of Kenner, Louisiana who currently serves as Jefferson Parish President, is getting messier by the day.
Last week, the 40-year-old conservative “happily married father of one” was outed for allegedly sexting with a 17-year-old boy who he met at a Catholic school function, gifting the teenager designer underwear and kissing him in a mall bathroom.
Now, it’s being reported that Yenni purchased a table at Jesuit High School’s commencement luncheon in New Orleans back in April of this year. The luncheon is held each spring for graduating seniors as they are formally welcomed into the Jesuit Alumni Association. It also serves as a fundraiser for the school.
The luncheon is where Yenni, who is a graduate of the esteemed high school and who would frequently return to give speeches to students, allegedly met his teenage boyfriend back in 2015.
When school officials learned that he was planning on attending the function again in 2016, they allegedly panicked and asked a friend of the politician to politely inform him that his presence would not be welcome. As a result, Yenni did not attend.
Apparently, the rescinded invitation came just weeks after Yenni’s former election challenger, Elton Lagassee, quietly sent a letter to Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans urging him to investigate rumors about the politician’s affinity for teen boys.
“As a grandfather of a child in a Catholic school, I am very concerned about the potential for future incidents of misconduct by Mr. Yenni should these allegations be confirmed by your investigation,” Lagasse wrote, adding that Yenni “will certainly be attending many functions at schools in the parish.”
Aymond responded to the letter by saying, ““I appreciate receiving this information. As you know, we take such allegations very seriously.”
So what does this mean exactly?
It sure sounds like school officials were aware of Yenni’s penchant for Catholic school boys and attempted to mitigate the situation internally.
Too bad the press got wind of it before it could be safely swept under the rug.
Tom Bagwill, who serves as director of institutional advancement for Jesuit High School, didn’t return calls from local press seeking comment. Yenni’s office, as well, is keeping mum, though a representative said this morning that he plans to “address the allegations against him later this week.”
h/t: The Advocate