Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kenner Mayor Yenni Continues Trying To Muzzle Dissent

Not content with trying to stop citizen criticism of their policies and ethics, the administration of Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni is now trying a new tactic: stop its appointments to boards from speaking to the media.

Kenner resident Al Morella is one of Mayor Yenni's appointments to the Kenner Housing Authority Board. The Housing Authority, which manages Kenner’s Section 8 program, has been under increasing scrutiny from the public. Recently, the Federal Government got involved.

In November, HUD inspectors paid a visit to the Housing Authority offices to begin an investigation. Here’s a report from Fox 8’s Rob Masson:

Morella has been complaining of mismanagement at the Housing Authority for some time.
HUD gave the City of Kenner a deadline to submit a plan for the reorganization of the Authority. Only one board member, Morella, and no one from the Yenni Administration, submitted a plan.

While Mayor Yenni publically boasted that he welcomed the HUD investigation, clearly he is concerned with yet another black eye for Kenner under his watch.
Now, Yenni is trying to silence Morella, admittedly not an easy task.

In a veiled attempt to intimidate Morella, City Attorney Keith Conley fired off a letter to the President of the Housing Authority asking if Morella understood his duties and responsibilities on the board.
Contacted by Fox 8, Conley said:

“I have instructed him (Morella) to work with the board. It does him no good to go outside of the membership of that board.”

“I did not say he’s not within his rights to speak to the media, or anyone else. He’s just not going to get anything accomplished.”

Mayor Yenni appoints members to the Kenner Housing Authority Board and appointed Morella last year.