Jacksonville, FL — JEA's interim CEO says she will not seek the position permanently. Melissa Dykes said it’s a necessary step toward a fresh start for the publicly owned utility.
Dykes was named interim CEO in December when the JEA Board voted to terminate Aaron Zahn. He is still suspended and on administrative leave as lawyers investigate whether to fire him with or without cause. That decision could cost JEA hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on which option they choose.
In a statement to employees, Dykes said she is committed to rebuilding trust, while ensuring a smooth transition. And by removing herself from consideration, she hopes to increase interest from other, well qualified candidates.
“This was difficult decision for me, but a necessary step towards ensuring a fresh start for all stakeholders and what is best for JEA,” said Dykes.
“I remain committed to promoting a culture of employee safety, delivering operational excellence and rebuilding trust, while ensuring a smooth transition. This way, there will be no question that all decisions going forward will be with JEA and the community in mind, instead of through the lens of someone applying for a permanent position.” Dykes said.
This is the second time Dykes has led JEA, having served as interim CEO during the search that ended with the hiring of Zahn.