Business expert: All signs point to sale of JEA

A local business expert tells Action News Jax all signs point to the sale of JEA.

Action News Jax was the first to tell you about letters the utility sent to employees in leadership positions, offering incentives if they stayed on after a sale.

On Friday, Action News Jax obtained a letter sent to those JEA employees saying that offer has been "rescinded effective immediately" after the Office of General Counsel found them "non-binding" and "unenforceable" under Florida law.

University of North Florida management department head Paul Fadil said selling JEA would have detrimental consequences on the employees who work at JEA and all of Northeast Florida.

Action News Jax asked Fadil why JEA would be performing a valuation of its assets.

“This activity is done usually in the preparation for a major change, and I think if you close your eyes to that, it’s your fault if you’re surprised when a sale or a major change happens,” Fadil said.

A possible sale of JEA has current workers concerned.

"There's a sense of panic right now because of the unknown," said Valerie Gutierrez, a current employee and union representative.

Both the JEA board chairman and Mayor Lenny Curry have said the sale of JEA is not a foregone conclusion.

Fadil said the sale would have lasting effects.

“It’s just common sense, service will suffer,” Fadil said.  “People, the workers, this is going to hurt.”