Sunday, August 25, 2013

AG Finds No Evidence Of Wrongdoing In Kenner Councilman’s Car Flap

In a letter to Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni and District 1 City Councilman Gregory Carroll, Kurt Wall, Director of the Attorney General’s Criminal Division, has cleared Carroll of any wrongdoing in the matter of Carroll’s use of a city vehicle to commute to his day job in Orleans Parish.

Carroll, who opted for the use of a city vehicle instead of a $500 per month auto allowance that is afforded to all Kenner City Councilmen, came under fire by Mayor Yenni for what Yenni considered excessive use of a public vehicle and claimed that Carroll misappropriated public property.

In addition to the print media, Yenni took his case to the electronic media in an interview with Fox 8 TV even having his politically-appointed City Attorney weigh in:

 “The Kenner City Attorney says, according to Article 7, Section 14 of the State Constitution, Carroll is violating a state law by using a public resource for personal use.

Mayor Yenni believes it's unethical.

'I've asked my City Attorney what I can do,' Yenni said.”

I guess that’s not the first time that Kenner City Attorney Keith Conley has been wrong.

As noted last week in, Mayor Yenni spends far more in automotive costs than anyone in Kenner City Government, despite his continuing to perpetuate the myth that he doesn’t accept an auto allowance.

Yenni has several city vehicles at his disposal and spends an average of $455 per month in fuel and maintenance at taxpayer’s expense. If you factor in insurance, depreciation and vehicle costs, Yenni’s vehicle costs dwarf the auto allowances afforded to the council.

Even including the maintenance costs involved with the 14-year-old vehicle that Yenni gave Carroll, the Councilman still averaged almost $80 per month LESS than Yenni’s vehicle cost and almost $125 less per month than the auto allowance received by other City Councilmen.

In addition, last year, Yenni extended the amount of political appointees and city employees who received auto allowances and increased the amount of the allowances for many.

Yenni contacted the State Attorney General, the State Inspector General and the U.S. Justice Department regarding Carroll’s vehicle use.

Throughout all of this, Carroll has maintained his innocence

This week, in the letter to Yenni and Carroll, Wall wrote:

After a comprehensive and detailed review of the City of Kenner Administrative Management Policy, the Legislative Auditor Report of 2004, as well as Kenner City Ordinance 9455, all of which acknowledge the need for automobile usage by Kenner elected officials for constituent services, we have not found any evidence of any intent to violate any criminal statute by Councilman Gregory W. Carroll in the use of his public vehicle.

While Councilman Carroll uses his public vehicle to travel to his place of employment working with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections division of probation and parole, he also uses his vehicle to handle constituent affairs during lunch meetings or directly after his full-time job ends.  As written, our office cannot definitively say that the non-Council use of his vehicle is substantial and violative of the current policy of the Kenner City Council.  However, the Kenner City Council could amend their policy to restrict any use of municipal vehicles outside of the city limits or require the use a monthly vehicle stipend.”

Now that this distraction manufactured by Mayor Yenni is over, when will the Attorney General start investigating the Yenni Administration? 

Perhaps, they already have…