JEA Managing Director and CEO Jay Stowe speaks after a board of directors meeting on Nov. 7, 2023. | Will Brown, Jacksonville TodayJEA Managing Director and CEO Jay Stowe speaks after a board of directors meeting on Nov. 7, 2023. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today
JEA Managing Director and CEO Jay Stowe speaks after a board of directors meeting on Nov. 7, 2023. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

JEA CEO to resign after four years on job, sources say

Published on April 11, 2024 at 4:31 pm

JEA CEO Jay Stowe is expected to step down from his position leading the city-owned utility, multiple sources told News4Jax on Thursday.

An emergency JEA board meeting is expected Monday where more information may come out.

Jacksonville Today thanks our sponsors. Become one.

There was speculation Stowe could resign after the last board meeting when Chairman Bobby Stein raised questions about the CEO’s performance.

Stowe has been under public pressure since News4Jax revealed that some of the people who made decisions about the operations of JEA, a city-owned utility company, didn’t live in Jacksonville. Laura Dutton, who lives and worked remotely in Tennessee, was released from her position as JEA chief strategy officer, shortly after she got a $73,000 raise and reports of her living situation emerged.

Dutton was one of the four people in charge who News4Jax learned didn’t live in Jacksonville, even though the company recently opened a new $100 million corporate headquarters downtown.

Article continues below

Jacksonville Today thanks our sponsors. Become one.

There was also public backlash after reports that JEA hosted a $72,000 holiday party with an open bar, catered food and magicians.

News4Jax tried to contact Stowe, City Council member Rory Diamond and Mayor Donna Deegan’s office for comment.

JEA provided this statement to Jacksonville Today:

“We do not have any information we can share at this time. Jay Stowe is in a series of national security-focused meetings in Washington, D.C., through Friday, so he is not available. We will have more information at a board meeting on Monday, April 15.”

Stowe got the job in 2020 after a scandal surrounding the attempted sale of the utility. Last month, former JEA CEO Aaron Zahn was found guilty by a federal jury of attempting to defraud the city-owned utility.

This story was produced by News4Jax, a Jacksonville Today news partner.


author image Jim Piggott covers city government and how it will affect the community. He has lived in Jacksonville for nearly 20 years and worked for WJKS, the former ABC affiliate in the city, before coming to WJXT in 1997. author image Ariel Schiller joined the News4Jax team as an evening reporter in September 2023. She comes to Jacksonville from Tallahassee, where she worked at ABC27 as a weekend anchor/reporter for 10 months. Before that she worked in Macon, Georgia, for two years as a reporter and fill-in anchor for 41NBC.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.