Meet Mike Yenni!
Mike Yenni is the former mayor of Kenner, Louisiana, and he’s now the president of Jefferson Parish. He’s married to a woman, he’s Catholic, he’s a Republican — and he’s in a fair amount of trouble after getting caught sexting with a 17-year-old boy he met at a Catholic high school function.
In addition to the sexting, Yenni also made out with the teen once in a mall food court.
And he’s super duper sorry about that! So sorry, in fact, that he made a very, very weird infomercial asking for forgiveness, suggesting that this was merely a thing he did because he was “young” and “stupid.” Even though it happened just last summer… when he was 39.
I’m addressing you through this commercial because I don’t want my words to be edited. I believe you deserve the truth from me directly. Last summer, I was old enough to know better, but I guess I was still young enough to still do something stupid. I chose to send improper texts to a young man. I won’t go into details out of respect for the rights and privacy of all parties.
The age of consent in Louisiana is 17, so Yenni didn’t legally do anything wrong — though hooking up with a high school student you met while doing mayor stuff, while also married, is pretty shady. Exploiting the obvious power difference is certainly an ethical problem if not a legal one. Other officials in the parish are calling on Yenni to resign, though he has yet to indicate what he plans on doing.
If you ignore the age difference and ick-factor, though, it’s possible to feel some empathy for the guy. Given his religious, Southern, conservative background, it can’t be easy to come out of the closet. That may be why, instead of trying to meet someone age-appropriate and doing it out in the open, he felt he had to hide it. I kind of want him to just say “fuck it,” move away to New York, find a nice man, and fall in love. And I hope he finds a therapist, too because it seems like he’s got some serious shit to work out.