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Advice to top management at JEA: When you are in a hole, stop digging.

Under investigation by local government and the feds for its botched attempt to sell the utility, JEA brass are suspected of stonewalling on releasing public records.

City Council’s special committee investigating the attempted sale asked for records more than a month ago and some are chafing at the speed of the response.

To date: zero records received.

It is hard to imagine that anyone at JEA thinks they can get away with not responding, or putting off the day of reckoning.

What they will do by delay is cause people to suspect they are destroying records to cover up something.

Think: Hillary Clinton’s campaign smashing hard drives after getting a subpoena from Congress. No one in his right mind thinks that was done innocently.

“Honest to God, this is embarrassing to you and JEA,” Council Member Randy DeFoor said to one official, according to News4Jax. “It proves leadership doesn’t care about the public and transparency.”

Council members especially are interested in the cute little scheme that was conceived to lavish top brass at JEA, including former CEO Aaron Zahn, with millions of dollars in the event of a sale.

Certainly that could stand closer examination.

The potential buyer would have incurred that cost, and passed it on to the ratepayers in Jacksonville.

Also puzzling to council members and the public is a question raised in Eye on Jacksonville a while back: Why was the JEA portraying itself as being in a “death spiral” when all signs were to the contrary?

The best thing JEA officials could do at this point is called: full disclosure, as quickly as possible.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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