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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jun. 5, 201901:07 PM EST

JEA gym manager charged with theft of membership dues

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He’s the fourth volunteer manager investigated and third arrested.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The city Office of Inspector General issued a report Tuesday concluding that another JEA employee who acted as volunteer manager of a fitness facility, operating with employee payroll deduction contributions, misappropriated funds from the facility’s bank account in which $5 biweekly dues paid by employees who wished to use the gym were deposited.

Ronald Milligan, a line maintainer who had managed the gym at JEA’s Southside Service Center for nine years, was arrested in April and charged with grand theft, a third-degree felony.

After his arrest, Milligan was found to be in violation of JEA’s security policy and was fired May 23.

Milligan is the fourth JEA employee investigated and the third volunteer gym manager arrested in theft related to JEA employee-owned gym membership dues since the inspector general began investigating the gyms in 2017.

During the OIG investigation in October, Milligan testified under oath that he did not use money from the gym’s bank account for personal use.

However, a review of the bank records from Jan. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018, found that on at least 35 occasions money from the gym’s bank account – at least $1,424.48 – appeared to have been used for expenses not related to operating the gym.

Milligan was the only person authorized to withdraw from the account. He testified that he did not reconcile the monthly statements and did not maintain receipts for purchases, including cash transactions when he bought fitness equipment he found for sale on social media.

The case was referred in November to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Integrity Unit for criminal investigation. The sheriff’s office determined that Milligan withdrew $11,627.83 from the gym’s account for personal use.

The case is being prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office.

In a letter to Inspector General Lisa Green dated May 31, JEA Vice President and Chief Compliance Office Ted Hobson said the utility is in the process of transitioning from employee-owned gyms to JEA-managed gyms.

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