HITHER AND YON: Yenni Braves The Storm He Created

An interesting story out of Jefferson Parish Monday night…

The full statement by Jefferson Parish president Mike Yenni is as follows:

“I have read with humility your request for my resignation. While I understand your position and your concerns, I have and will continue to dutifully perform the obligations of the Office of Parish President.”

“As I noted in my statement, my actions are regrettable, and I am penitent. I have accepted responsibility for my poor judgment, and I apologized publicly to all parties involved.” Yenni reiterated “I did not violate any laws, I have not been contacted by any investigatory agency, especially the FBI, regarding this allegation.”

“I want to put this in the proper perspective. I have been true to the oath that I have taken. I stated clearly that I never abused or misused my powers as a public official and there has been no misuse of tax dollars or public assets. And, I will work harder than ever to prove that good can rise from a bad decision. Because out of struggle comes strength, and I am prepared to prove how strong I will be when fighting for Jefferson Parish. Therefore, while I respect your concern, I am not resigning from the Office of Parish President. The allegations in no way impact my ability to effectively govern or manage the day-to-day operations of Parish government.”

Yenni added in his statement the incident at the center of this allegation is personal” and, in no way, does it “impact my ability to govern.”

He also added he was not Parish President at the time of the text messages, and asked fellow council members to allow him to “separate (his) personal challenge from (his) public responsibility.” Yenni urged via a release this is not a time for “a rush to judgement.”

This is the latest attempt at damage control by Yenni over allegations that he engaged in some Anthony Weiner-esque behavior – and perhaps worse – with a 17-year old campaign worker. Last week there was a video…

This whole imbroglio has all but destroyed what at one point looked like a promising political career. And there is justice in that.

Which is not to say that Yenni would deserve to have his career trashed because he’s gay, or bisexual, or whatever it is that floats his boat. That stuff is none of our business.

But it’s a good bet that the voters in Jefferson Parish would want to know whether their prospective parish president is into teenage boys, and in all likelihood that wouldn’t be a particular asset to his electoral prospects.

Yenni is right, we think, that what he did wasn’t criminal. That’s great news. In Jefferson, criminal behavior in the parish president’s office has been so rampant over the years that it’s almost tempting to think a mini-Weinergate with boy toys might actually be an improvement if that’s the worst it would get with Yenni.

But it’s not like he’s been in office long, and the disastrous nature of this mess indicates you might well have a dumpster fire on your hands with Yenni.

And his refusal to resign when the entire parish council demanded it of him last week is concerning. Who wants a political job so badly that they’d endure the public scorn and resistance Yenni is going to endure? That in and of itself is a bad sign; we’d be concerned at the prospect of being governed by someone with that much appetite for political power.

A normal person would have probably resigned for “health reasons” or “professional opportunities too good to pass up” long before this scandal broke out. Yenni didn’t. That’s more revealing than whatever sexual proclivities lay behind the scandal itself.

And what the hell is wrong with all of these politicians, anyway? Is it really so much to ask that the people we elect to run our city, state or country at least keep their extramarital bedroom activities a little bit discreet?

At some point the people are going to take the position that the cretins and cads in political office no longer have any moral position from which to govern, and the offices they hold have been so abused and damaged by scandal that they lack legitimacy. Lawlessness will result.

So if you’re going to run for office, consider whether you’re the kind of person who can avoid humiliating yourself by stupidly letting your dirty laundry out on your front lawn. If you aren’t, then DON’T RUN. It doesn’t matter how much you want it, if you can’t qualify under that simple standard then you’re a danger to your community.

Yenni needs to resign and stay out of politics. But it looks like getting him out of there until the next election will be as hard as digging a tick out of your dog’s ear. And that’s pretty typical.


Frankly, I’m shocked at this

Pineville Police Department Pfc. Sabrina Farace advised us that she was wearing a police shirt when she was grocery shopping with her daughter at the Alexandria Kroger store. The checkout clerk saw her shirt, asked her if she was police officer, and then refused to check her out.

Pfc. Farace’s Facebook provided us with her account of events:

On 09-27-16 at approximately 4:00 PM I was in Kroger’s shopping with my 6-year-old daughter. I walked up to the checkout line and placed my items on the counter for the cashier to scan my items. She sat there for a few moments and kept looking at me odd.

When she refused to speak or pick any of my items up, I asked her if I could help her.  She replied, “Do you have your Kroger card?” At which I responded, “Yes, I do.”

I handed her my Kroger member card and she reluctantly took it from my hands.  After she took [the card] I was waiting for her to continue checking me out. She looked at me and with a rude tone she asked  “Are you on the force?” I stated, “Come again?” She asked again, rudely, “Are you on the force, are you a cop?” I stated “Yes, maam I am a cop.”  She then looked at me and stated, “I can’t check you out, I have to go get my supervisor.”

I stated, “OK” because I did not know what her reason was for stating that she could not continue to check me out. I assumed maybe it was time for her to get off or some other reason. When she came back to the counter she stated, “My supervisor is tied up right now.”  I asked, “What’s the deal?” She replied, “I can not check you out because you are police officer and I can’t check you out because you are a cop and I have issues with the police right now.”  At which I replied, “You have to be kidding me right?”  She stated “No, I am not.”  I then stated “If this is the case I would like to speak to your supervisor myself because this is unacceptable to treat a customer this way.”

She then walked off and shortly later she came back with a white male that I assumed was her supervisor.  I told him that the employee (AJ written on her name tag) had refused to check me out because after she asked me if I was on the force, and when I told her I was a cop, she refused to check me out. He looked at her and said “You have to check out all customers.”

I  began to tell him I didn’t appreciate being asked what I do for a living period no matter what kind of shirt I was wearing, because it is not her business. I told him that this kind of behavior is unacceptable for any customer to be treated in this manner. I asked him if he would continue to allow her to treat customers like that as she stood there smirking as if nothing would be done. I said, if you condone this kind of behavior and discrimination I’m sure the media would love to know how you allow employees to treat customers this way for wearing a police supporting shirt and being a police officer.

He replied, well that’s not nice to threaten me to call the media and I guess I’ll just call Cooper. I told him that he could call whoever he wanted because I did not work for Cooper.  He began telling me that she explained to him that she had problems with the police.  I stated to him that apparently I would not be the only person wearing a shirt supporting police or a police officer that came into the store. I stated that she was an embarrassment to the store treat people that way.  I also told him that he, as a manager, should be embarrassed for the poor job at making not making an  attempt to correct the situation that he, himself, was an embarrassment to Kroger’s.  I told him that I refused to come back to the store and left my groceries where they laid after she stated she could not check me out.  I then left, and will refuse to ever shop at the store from this point on account of this incident.

I have been a customer there for more than 15 years but this is unacceptable to be treated that way no matter what your profession may be nor should it be acceptable to be asked what you do based on their opinions of that profession.

It’s shocking. I didn’t know they had a Kroger in Alexandria. I guess I don’t make it up there all that often.

Oh, the cop getting mistreated? No. That’s not shocking anymore. Not in this debauched and debased culture. Happens all the time.


Jay Dardenne, Commissioner of Administration for Gov. John Bel Edwards, apparently had a heart attack over the weekend.

Jay Dardenne, the chief operating officer for the state budget, was released from a Baton Rouge hospital this morning after suffering a heart attack Saturday.

Dardenne, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ commissioner of administration, checked into Our Lady of the Lake hospital Saturday.

“I woke up Saturday morning feeling pressure in my chest,” Dardenne said in a statement released Monday. “My wife Cathy took me to Our Lady of the Lake hospital where a heart catheterization revealed some blockages. I’ve been treated and remain alert and very thankful.

“I am heeding my doctors’ advice regarding rest but look forward to returning to work as soon as I’m cleared.”

All political disagreements we have with Dardenne aside, that’s shocking and unwelcome news. We wish him a speedy recovery.


If all the events of the past several months have gotten you down, that’s quite understandable. We can only offer this little bit of advice – always look for the silver linings and the positives where they can be found. They’ll be there, because life always finds a way. The most aggressive growth period you’ll find in a forest is after it’s been burnt, and so forth.

And given that, here’s an example

The wife of fallen Baton Rouge Police Officer Matthew Gerald said she will be having a baby boy.

Dechia Gerald shared a picture announcing her baby’s gender Monday. When she announced that she was expecting in September, she said the baby will be a wonderful and constant reminder of her late husband.

Just one week after her husband died in the line of duty on July 17, Dechia Gerald said her two daughters, 9-year-old Dawclyn and 3-year-old Fynleigh,  somehow knew she was pregnant.

After taking a home pregnancy test that read positive, Gerald said she “wanted to cry but at the same time, it’s kind of exciting but then the flood of knowing all of the firsts that he would miss with that one.”

Gerald admitted in September she is very excited yet very scared, especially since she said her husband was a very hands-on dad.

“For the most part, it’s a blessing. I mean obviously he left us a very special gift behind, but at the same time, all those days that I get overwhelmed, I ask how am I going to do this by myself without him,” Gerald said when she first announced she was pregnant.

Gerald said previously she is preparing for another carbon copy of her husband, whose blue eyes are what she said she fell for seven years ago.

The Geralds’ new addition is due next April. Baton Rouge needs to adopt him and give him the best we can. He represents our renewal after the atrocity of that awful Sunday in July.


For Today’s Last Thing, here’s another guy standing against the storm.

Let’s call him Florida Man.

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