JEA Trial: Former JEA board members say they knew nothing of bonus plan scheme when approving sale

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two former JEA board chairs testified Wednesday that they wouldn’t have approved a bonus plan that prosecutors say was developed by former JEA CFO Ryan Wannamacher and former CEO Aaron Zahn if they knew it was worth hundreds of millions of dollars.


Action News Jax’s Ben Becker was in the courtroom on Wednesday when the prosecution tried to hammer home that there was a scheme to steal money.

April Green, former JEA board chair said “absolutely not” when asked if she would have voted for the bonus plan if she knew it was $300+ million.

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Former JEA board chair Alan Howard said the utility was in a “death spiral” at one time and said storm clouds were on the horizon based on numbers from the executive team.

Former board member Andy Allen tried to distance himself from a positive performance review of Zahn. He only served 5 months and said he had “one foot out the door.”

When asked about how much he was looking forward to the trial ending, Aaron Zahn told Becker, “I just want to spend time with my family.”

Ryan Wannamacher refused to answer questions from Becker outside the courthouse.

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Other events of note during the trial Wednesday was that one line of questioning for Allen was objected by the defense 8 times, but it was overruled by the judge each time.

Also, a juror just got up and left at one point and a recess had to be called. It was the same one that was knitting on Tuesday.

Former JEA COO Melissa Dykes’ testimony was moved to Wednesday. She played a pivotal role in the drama.

Action News Jax will continue to be in the courtroom and will update you as events unfold.

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