JEA Fires 9 Former Leadership Team Members Without Cause

Jul 14, 2020

Nine former members of JEA’s senior leadership team who served under former CEO Aaron Zahn have been fired without cause.

WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record reports that JEA Special Assistant to the CEO Gerri Boyce McKenzie confirmed in an email July 13 that JEA interim CEO and Managing Director Paul McElroy decided to cut ties with former utility executives after a 30-day investigation by the city’s Office of General Counsel.

McElroy placed former Chief Administrative Officer Herschel Vinyard on administrative leave May 12. The other eight executives were placed on paid administrative leave June 9

McElroy’s action was based on the association of the nine executives with JEA’s failed invitation to negotiate with private companies interested in buying the city-owned utility and with an employee bonus plan that was not implemented.

Zahn proposed both efforts. The board of directors fired him in January.

Because they were terminated without cause, Florida statute and JEA policy state former executives are entitled to 20 weeks of pay and health benefits.

Documents from the city’s Department of Ethics, Compliance and Oversight show their salaries range from $180,000 to $350,000 per year.

McElroy’s statement to the fired employees along with a list of their names and positions is in an expanded version of this story at JaxDailyRecord.com.

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