Attorneys for former JEA execs expected in court Thursday ahead of upcoming fraud trial

Attorneys for former JEA executives Aaron Zahn and Ryan Wannemacher are expected back in court Thursday ahead of their upcoming fraud trial regarding the utility’s botched sale attempt.

It’s been over four years since the failed attempt to sell JEA first made Jacksonville headlines.

The former CEO and CFO were charged in connection with a proposed bonus plan that could have paid out millions of dollars if the sale went through.

The trials are scheduled to start in less than two weeks. Both men will have their own separate juries.

Now, as we inch closer to the trial, Zahn and Wannemacher’s attorneys are making new requests, including one to delay the trial by a month.

However, federal prosecutors are against a delay because they say the defense attorneys have had enough time to prepare. But the court could start the trial the first or second Monday, or following Tuesday.  It will be up to the judge to decide.

On Thursday, in federal court, witnesses will be questioned to determine the source of their testimony. Specifically, they’re working to find if that testimony was derived from statements Zahn and Wannemacher gave to city attorneys in January 2020. These are known as “protected statements” and cannot be used in a criminal proceeding against the public employee who made them.

RELATED | Federal judge agrees that prosecutors built case against former JEA execs without protected statements

A second hearing relating to this matter is on the calendar for next week. The court acknowledged that prepping for these hearings could take resources from prepping for the upcoming trial.

But prosecutors say they still want the men’s trial to happen in the February 2024 time frame. Once both juries have been selected, the trial could last up to four weeks.

The judge will have the final say about a trial deal. Thursday’s hearing starts at 9 a.m.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.