85ºF

Council member accuses former JEA CIO of destroying sensitive documents

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A City Council investigative committee looking into the failed bid to sell JEA revealed new information on Monday about an interview with a former member of the leadership team at the city-owned utility.

According to its investigation, crucial information may have been intentionally destroyed on the personal device of the former JEA Chief Operating Officer.

During a meeting of City Council members in charge of investigating JEA on Monday, lawyers revealed that Shawn Eads, the former JEA Chief Information Officer who was in charge of all the computers at JEA, may have intentionally put the wrong password in several times into the iPad of former COO Melissa Dykes multiple times. That may have forced the information in her iPad to be erased.

Eads said it was an accident.

Some council members like Rory Diamond said that is criminal.

“Now that is lost forever,” Diamond told News4Jax. “Documents that we had a right to see and now they are gone. We will never know what was on her tablet and that’s just disgusting.”

An attorney representing Eads issued a statement Monday on his client’s behalf.

“Our office is aware of the statement by Mr. Diamond on Twitter regarding Mr. Eads and the suggestion an I-Pad was intentionally deleted,” said attorney Eugene Nichols. “We continue to welcome the investigation of the City Council, JEA, and all other entities. Mr. Eads has taken every step requested by all agencies and, following the completion of all investigations, we look forward to addressing with Mr. Diamond his allegation.”

Council members also got an update on who has been questioned by investigating attorneys such as Brian Hughes of the mayor’s office who gave some information about a baseball game he attended with ousted JEA CEO Aaron Zahn.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, Sam Mousa and then City Council President Scott Wilson attended an Atlanta Braves game with Tim Baker and Zahn in Oct. of 2019 at a time when there was a “cone of silence” for JEA because of the proposed sale.

Zahn said that he flew to Atlanta on a plane provided by Conventus, LLC, a company co-managed by Tim Baker, Curry’s political strategist. Hughes, the Mayor’s former 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.

The JEA investigative committee plans to issue subpoenas Baker, Mousa, former JEA board member Alan Howard and Michael Munz, an executive at the Dalton Agency, to testify in the investigation.

Munz told News4Jax he does not need a subpoena and will voluntarily testify for the investigation.


About the Author: