JEA trial verdict drives reaction from Jacksonville leaders
Can Aaron Zahn come over? Say, 170 times?

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Some have more to say than others.

With the trial of two former Jacksonville utility executives wrapped, and former CEO Aaron Zahn having been found guilty of a conspiracy to embezzle and wire fraud, local leaders are responding to the news.

“A long road to accountability. It was finally realized because of the diligence and hard work of the Middle District of Florida prosecution team led by Tysen Duva,” asserted State Attorney Melissa Nelson.

“I’m glad justice was served. As has been said, this was one of the greatest schemes to defraud the taxpayers in the history of Jacksonville. During the trial, we heard a lot about the type of behavior that we don’t want to see in our government ever again. JEA will always stay in public hands as long as I’m mayor,” said Mayor Donna Deegan.

“As President of the Jacksonville City Council and on behalf of my colleagues, we stand as stewards of public trust, and we are committed to transparency and accountability. The work done by the Special Investigatory Committee on JEA Matters over numerous meetings and thousands of pages of documents is to be commended. While justice has been served and the JEA trial has concluded, our work as a council continues. We remain dedicated to upholding the highest standards of governance and remain steadfast in our commitment to building a brighter future,” asserts Ron Salem.

“Justice was served today with the conviction of Aaron Zahn. His dangerous scheme to enrich himself and breach the public trust was clear to us from Day 1. We thank the jury for holding Zahn accountable and bringing closure to the citizens of Jacksonville,” asserted Daniel Henry, the chair of the Duval County Democratic Party.

JEA itself says the “trial reinforced at least one key fact: The value of JEA is, and has always been, based on the incredible work of its employees. JEA is proud to be a community-owned utility and will continue to focus on serving our Northeast Florida customers and community every day, as it has since 1895.”

“We are grateful for the dedication and commitment of the members of both juries, who considered a tremendous amount of evidence and delivered a just verdict consistent with that evidence. At JEA, we remain committed to integrity, respect, and transparency in all that we do. The actions of a former CEO do not reflect our organization or our values. We appreciate the efforts of all who assisted in delivering this outcome, and we look forward to putting this matter behind us while we focus on moving forward to serve our community.”

Others have been less vocal, including former Mayor Lenny Curry, an advocate of Zahn who appointed him to the JEA Board before that same board voted to make him CEO. Curry had advocated for privatization of the utility, a fateful decision that clouded an otherwise uncomplicated re-election campaign, then diffused political capital he otherwise might have had in his second term.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


9 comments

  • the Truth

    March 16, 2024 at 4:30 pm

    wish Zahn would turn on Curry and get a plea deal, and tell the truth about Curry’s involvement in the trying to sell JEA

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 16, 2024 at 9:01 pm

      Score one for the Truth, finally.

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    • Bernard Golczynski

      March 17, 2024 at 7:31 pm

      ?????

  • Harold Finch

    March 16, 2024 at 5:30 pm

    Curry was complicit, and yet. escaped indictment. Go figure.

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 16, 2024 at 9:01 pm

      Lenny’s been in his bunker or in the islands ever since the trial started.

      • MH/Duuuval

        March 16, 2024 at 9:30 pm

        But, never mind — Curry hired Zahn out of obscurity to be on the Board and then, before anyone knew it, Zahn was in charge. Looks BAD for Curry.
        Too bad the MAGA motor mouths Howlin’, Diamond, and Carrico had nothing to say.

  • Nope

    March 16, 2024 at 6:01 pm

    “Following the outcome of his trial, after 2 months of community service on a golf course, last seen on a yacht in the Caribbean”….

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 19, 2024 at 8:03 pm

      Maybe Peter Navarro would like a congenial cellmate? Imagine the paranoid scams those two could fabricate!

Comments are closed.


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