Monday, December 16, 2013

Mayor Yenni Gives Kenner Council A Gift – Then Takes It Back After He’s Told It Breaks Ethics Laws

Thanks to a “heads-up” from at least one Kenner City Councilman, Mayor Mike Yenni narrowly avoided running afoul of state ethics laws by giving City Council members a gift from a company that received public funds.

To celebrate the opening of The Grand 14 Multiplex in the Esplanade Mall, the Mayor received a stack of tickets for “Construction Workers and their families” to enjoy a free movie and popcorn at the theater.

Mayor Yenni, obviously ignorant of the state’s ethics laws banning gifts of any monetary value from companies that have received public funding, among other things, decided to bestow some of these tickets on Kenner City Council members.It is not known what Mayor Yenni did with the rest of the free tickets.

Some members, realizing the ethics faux pas, didn’t use the tickets. At least one, called the state ethics board to check before he accepted the tickets.

The ethics board noted the potential violation.

In a hasty email, Mayor Yenni said that the discrepancy was found “by a city attorney” and advised the council to not use or distribute the tickets.

A close call for a Mayor who frequently skirts the spirit and intent of ethics laws and has used tens of thousands of campaign dollars to finance his own lifestyle.

The good news is that Mayor Yenni didn't spend any of his campaign dollars on these gifts to the Council. The campaign dollars are reserved for gifts for his family members. 

To commemorate Mayor Yenni not violating the state ethics law, he has called for a parade to be held and decreed that Christmas Day in Kenner will henceforth be known as "Not Breaking State Ethics Law Day".