$120K contract brings Sam Mousa back to City Hall

Retired in June after 21 years in engineering, public works, mayor's office

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sam Mousa, who retired six weeks ago as Mayor Lenny Curry's chief administrative officer, will return to work for the city as a consultant.

Mousa, who worked for the city for 21 years under five mayors, will be paid $120,000 to consult on the development of policy and legislation, executive overview of special projects as directed by Curry.

According to the terms of his deal with the city, Mousa is contracted from Sept. 1, 2019, to Aug, 31, 2020, with three, one-year renewal options. Those terms were what Mousa proposed in a July 26 letter to Marlene Russe, the city's director of organizational effectiveness.

READ: Correspondence on hiring Mousa as consultant

"Sam’s a respected expert in a number of municipal planning policy areas," said Brian Hughes, who replaced Mousa as Curry's new CAO. "His contract and the process to award it has been transparent and followed every legal and regulatory requirement."

While this rate of pay may seem high, Mousa was paid $329,175 in the final year of his employment with the city.

Mousa was also being considered to work with the Duval County School Board as a consultant to help them pass the half-cent sales tax referendum the board is pushing to get on the ballot. Sources told News4Jax that is no longer an option.

His return to City Hall is raising eyebrows, including from City Councilman Garrett Dennis.

"I think it's highly inappropriate. It's gross negligence on how we conduct business in the city of Jacksonville," Dennis said. "Mr. Mousa just retired after all these years. He was making $300,000 a year. ... You’re giving him this sweet contract and $120,000 a year to be a general consultant."

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