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First Coast

Jacksonville City Council Investigative Report Links Mayor Curry To Failed JEA Sale

JEA's headquarters building is seen in the distance behind the Main Street Bridge.
Bob Self
/
The Florida Times-Union
JEA's headquarters building is seen in the distance behind the Main Street Bridge.

A Jacksonville City Council special committee on Monday published its long-awaited investigative report into the failed 2019 sale of JEA, finding that Mayor Lenny Curry and JEA officials spent years exploring a sale of the city-owned utility with a "purposeful lack of transparency" and CEO Aaron Zahn used "intentional misrepresentations and omissions" to push a sale, which was coupled with Zahn's creation of an "ill-conceived" bonus plan that could have yielded executives millions of dollars.

The report, which is a culmination of a nearly year-long investigation, is the most definitive account linking Curry to the 2019 privatization effort. WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union reported the document found Curry’s administration was involved in exploring a sale as early as 2017 and that Curry “positioned” Zahn at the head of the JEA in 2018 to facilitate a sale, which the report described as a “move that would further burden the opaque sale effort.”

“By early 2019, the Mayor’s plan appeared to many to be on a path to success,” according to the report’s executive summary. “The plan ran afoul through Aaron Zahn’s greed, coupling the JEA sale effort to the PUP (bonus plan)  - designed to have senior JEA employees benefit exorbitantly from a JEA sale."

Read the rest of this story at Jacksonville.com.