Committee Seeks Documents, Communications Related To Failed JEA Privatization

Feb 10, 2020

In its first meeting, the Jacksonville City Council’s Special Investigatory Committee on JEA asked for all documents related to the now-halted sales process of the city-owned utility and all communications to or from Mayor Lenny Curry and others.

The new committee, tasked with finding out who was behind the sale process and to recommend how to avoid future controversies, met for the first time on Monday morning.

City Councilman Rory Diamond, who chairs the committee, said this massive records request could turn up millions of pages of documents, but the committee’s expected to finish its report by the summer.

“The last time I did an investigation that long it took us a year-and-a-half,” he said. “We don’t want to do that, but we do want to do searches.”

During the investigation of fired JEA CEO Aaron Zahn, Jacksonville’s Office of General Council obtained about 1.5 million pages of documents and emails. The 84 record requests outlined during Monday’s committee meeting is significantly larger than that.

City Councilwoman and committee member Randy DeFoor said witnesses will help expedite the process.

“We’re not going to have to wade through a bunch of documents, they’re going to be able to tell us right off their head exactly what happened,” she said. “They’re going to be able to help us target times and dates.”

DeFoor recommended that the committee call on the JEA board members who resigned last month, who she said “left for a reason.” She also wants f6ormer City Council President Anna Brosche called. Brosche  opposed selling JEA in 2018.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.