I-TEAM: Did Curry’s allies help effort to sell JEA?

NextEra says firms run by those with ties to mayor consulted on plan to buy utility

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two people with ties to Mayor Lenny Curry consulted for Florida Power & Light or its parent company, one of the leading contenders to buy JEA, before a plan to sell the city-owned utility was scuttled.

That’s according to a letter the city received Friday from attorneys representing NextEra Energy in response to a city subpoena that sought information related to the controversial plan to put JEA up for sale.

Specifically, the subpoena asked for a list of consultants, attorneys and lobbyists employed by NextEra as part of the company’s effort to acquire JEA during the Invitation to Negotiate, or ITN.

SPECIAL SECTION: Tracking the JEA saga

In its response, the company identified 13 companies including Mousa Consulting Group, a firm led by Sam Mousa, the city’s former chief administrative officer. Mousa retired in June 2019 before he was hired as a consultant by the city.

Another firm that stood out is Bold City Strategic Partners, a shop run by Tim Baker. Baker, who has consulted for Curry, ran the firm with Brian Hughes, Mousa’s replacement as chief administrative officer, up until 2017.

A city spokesperson said neither Hughes nor Curry was available for comment Friday. Instead, she provided the following statement to News4Jax:

“Mr. Mousa was never registered to lobby any issues before the City of Jacksonville, including the Mayor’s Office, on behalf of Next Era. Mr. Mousa and Mr. Baker are private citizens and entitled to do business with private companies. In addition, Mr. Mousa was not a COJ employee when the ITN process began.”

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