JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – April Green abruptly resigned Tuesday from her position as chair of JEA’s Board of Directors after the board fired former CEO Aaron Zahn for cause and agreed to revisit contracts for the utility’s senior leadership.
“I extend an apology to the employees of JEA. Today, I extend my apologies to the senior leadership team of JEA,” Green said in a brief statement at the end of the board meeting. “I don’t want you to think your value to this organization is not respected.”
Green had been vocal about the need to terminate Zahn for cause since the board voted to remove him from his role at a Dec. 17 meeting.
“To sit and listen to all of the possible causes — and I am going to continue to say possible because they could possibly be arbitrated — it’s disappointing to know that the board has been misled to that extent,” Green said following her resignation. “It makes you question everything."
Green pushed back when asked if her resignation could be considered turning her back on the problem, a list of problems that include a looming federal investigation and the public’s lack of trust in JEA. She previously said she would welcome an investigation into now-abandoned plans to explore a sale of the city-owned utility.
Green, the CEO of Me Business Solutions in Jacksonville, said she wants to get back to working with children in the community, especially at her church.
“What I would offer is a recommendation that whoever sits on this board going forward that you make sure that you understand the data that is being given to you,” Green said.
She was appointed to the board in Dec. 2017 and her term was set to expire Feb. 2021.
Board Vice Chair Frederick Newbill hinted at a resignation during the meeting and confirmed with News4Jax afterward that he plans to step away from the board in the coming months.
“I don’t think the board did its due diligence in some areas and it needs a fresh start,” said Newbill, a pastor at First Timothy Baptist Church North.