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Former JEA CEO sends letter to city leaders disputing findings of investigation

Former JEA CEO Aaron Zahn
Former JEA CEO Aaron Zahn (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Attorneys for former JEA CEO Aaron Zahn have sent a letter to city leaders disputing some of the findings of the investigative report that came out in January.

Zahn was fired in late 2019 after it came to light that senior leaders of the utility could have made millions of dollars, through a controversial bonus plan.

Zahn and his attorneys have long claimed he is being used as a scapegoat.

In the letter, Zahn’s attorney claims:

  • The Report Falsely Portrays JEA’s Strategic Planning Scenarios as Misleading Forecasts and Ignores Contradictory Evidence
  • The Report Falsely Claims JEA Management Did Not Present the Ten-Year Site Plan to the Board as part of “projections of JEA’s future”
  • The Report Falsely Claims JEA Promised Lucrative Long-term Incentives to Recruit Senior Leadership

For example, according to his attorney, the “doom and gloom” and “death spiral” narrative for JEA “originated in 2013 and was repeated numerous times by JEA management and media prior to Zahn becoming CEO of JEA.”

The city council investigative report had no legal force, it can only make recommendations to the city on how JEA should operate.

A separate criminal investigation is underway by federal authorities, but there is no word when that could wrap up.

The Florida Times-Union recently reported that a federal grand jury will soon hear from witnesses in the investigation.