Why a Braves game attended by Mayor Curry, ex-JEA CEO and City Council president is raising questions

Curry, a staffer and former JEA CEO Aaron Zahn flew on a private plane to watch a playoff game in October.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville City Council president Scott Wilson, who formed a special committee to investigate JEA, is now being questioned if he had any role in the JEA scandal.

The questions revolve around an Atlanta Braves baseball game he attended with Mayor Lenny Curry, his staff and former JEA CEO Aaron Zahn in October 2019.

Wilson said Tuesday had he known the full controversy behind JEA then he would have never taken that trip.

“I should’ve turned around and walked away and not gone. I should’ve never have agreed to go and it’s a mistake I made,” Wilson said. “I apologize to anyone offended or affected by that.”

The trip came to light when city lawyers released thousands of documents Monday afternoon relating to the investigation into Zahn and his involvement with a controversial bonus plan and whether he deserved to be fired with or without cause.

In the documents, there was a transcript from Zahn in which he briefly described the trip and the game he attended. He said that he flew to Atlanta on a plane provided by Conventus, LLC, a company co-managed by Tim Baker, Curry’s political strategist.

The October trip was for a playoff game between the Braves and the Cardinals, a game Atlanta won 3-0. In Atlanta, Wilson said Curry asked him to go to the game but said he had no idea that Zahn would be there.

Brian Hughes, the Mayor Chief Administrative Officer and Sam Mousa, who recently retired from that position and is listed in public records as a co-manager of Conventus LLC, were also there.

”It did raise concerns to myself," Wilson said. “But I recognized I’m allowed to travel. I’m allowed to go to a baseball game, so long as I pay for it.”

Wilson said he paid for the flight and ticket. News4Jax asked Wilson if JEA was discussed during the outing.

“It was more of a fun night but the conversation did come up as to whether the bidders should remain private or become publicly known and I think after that they wanted the public to know (the bidder’s names),” Wilson said.

Mayor Curry: Unaware of golden parachute
Mayor Curry: Unaware of golden parachute

News4Jax reached out to Curry to ask about the trip. His office only issued this statement:

Zahn told city attorneys he paid for the trip and the game tickets as well.

News4Jax also found that a complaint about the trip was filed in January with the city’s ethics director.

A special committee being headed by Councilman Rory Diamond was just given its formal charge of what and how they should investigate JEA and the investigation should wrap up by June.

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