JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local lawyer Helen Albee made her case to Jacksonville City Council as an appointee to serve on the JEA board.
"I'm one who will look at the facts look at the issues, and do what I think is right," she said.
She told City Council she was proud of her part in a lawsuit against the City of Jacksonville.
As a Springfield resident, she said she was horrified when her neighbors couldn't sell their homes because of a mistake made at the property appraisers office.
"A government official had placed, on the public records, on their property, the following language, 'There are or may be hazardous substances on the property. Call 630-CITY for more information,'" she said.
Turns out there was never any hazardous material. It was a clerical error.
And a costly one for the people trying to sell their homes.
"People freaked out and they didn't go through with the deal," she said.
So Albee helped three of her neighbors sue the city for the mistake.
After two years in court, they finally settled with the city last week for $90,000.
But during that time, Mayor Alvin Brown appointed Albee to serve on the JEA Board, and some council members questioned whether or not that was a conflict of interest.
"I'm mostly concerned that you're suing the city, and during that time, the Mayor appointed you on the JEA board," said Council member Matt Schellenberg.
Schellenberg asked Albee if she thought she could be effective on the board after suing the city.
But other council members applauded her effort on taking on what she thought was right.
"If the city had done the right thing, she would not have had to sue. But we were wrong. We damaged those people's properties. And we refused to step up and do the right thing," she said.
And for the Council, the right thing was approving her political appointment unanimously.
First Coast News