JEA council committee looking into mayoral candidate Cumber would like to hear from FBI

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of the Jacksonville City Council want to go to the FBI to see if a fellow council member is lying.

That came out Thursday during a committee hearing where council members are looking into the role that council member and mayoral candidate LeAnna Cumber and her husband, Husein, may have had in the failed JEA sales attempt.

Even though Thursday’s meeting was about LeAnna Cumber, she was again not there and has made it clear she is not going to participate in this. That is not stopping the Special Investigatory Committee on JEA Matters, whose purpose is to find out what LeAnna Cumber knew about her former JEA board member husband’s role and his dealings with a group hoping to take over the management of JEA.

“It’s important to speak the truth, and for us as a body, it’s important to seek the truth. We need to know what happened. The city needs to know that it was not misled or deceived, and in doing so, the citizens of Jacksonville need to know that they can trust their government,” said council member Nick Howland, who chaired Thursday’s meeting. “I think who I support in the race is irrelevant. I think the political thing would’ve been to ignore or delay these credible allegations.”

The committee received a number of emails that have been leaked earlier. Those emails spell out meetings Husein Cumber’s husband had with that company.

In a letter sent Thursday to the council committee, LeAnna Cumber’s attorney said, ironically, those emails were supplied by an individual involved in the Daniel Davis campaign who, at one time, was working alongside Husein Cumber during the JEA ordeal.

READ: Emails submitted to committee | Letter by LeAnna Cumber’s attorney

LeAnna Cumber and Davis are in a bitter fight for mayor as two of the seven candidates in the race.

LeAnna Cumber had said the reason she did not disclose the information about her husband’s dealings was because her husband was working as an informant for the FBI.

“So he was heavily involved much more than was intimated in the past,” said Howland.

Howland was one of those who complained about LeAnna Cumber’s lack of disclosure.

“The big issue that we have is that she did not disclose this information in her disclosure,” Howland said. “So this information was left out, and what we’ve learned is her husband indeed — an immediate family member — was heavily involved in the JEA deal.”

News4JAX asked Howland, if the FBI told LeAnna Cumber not to disclose that information, does that make a difference?

“Well, I think it would because the FBI would have done that for a specific reason, and we do hear from Councilwoman Cumber that the FBI instructed her to leave that information off of her disclosure. I think it’s highly unlikely that the FBI would ask someone to submit a deceiving or misleading disclosure. But, if they did, we’d like to know,” Howland said.

The committee will meet one more time on March 9. At that time, it will issue a final report and send those findings off to the state ethics commission or the state attorney general. It would be up to one of them to decide if any future action is needed.

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Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.