James Paul is a former Superintendent of Schools for the Escambia County School District, a position he held from November 21, 2000 to November 18, 2008. A former Escambia High School social studies teacher, Paul, a Republican, narrowly defeated incumbent Jim May, a Democrat, amidst a budget crisis and nationwide attention to Escambia County's two chronically failing schools.
|Occupation||Educator, educational administrator|
Former Superintendent of Schools
Paul was arrested in South Florida on January 10, 2008 and charged with DUI. He was stopped after a Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy observed his vehicle "speeding and weaving dramatically" and submitted to a breath test, which reported a 0.128 percent blood alcohol level, compared to Florida's legal limit of 0.08 percent. Paul initially entered a plea of not guilty, but changed his plea to no conteset in May 2008. Paul was sentenced to twelve months of probation and to pay a $650.54 fine. He was also sentenced to serve 50 hours of community service or pay the community service off at a rate of $10 per hour. He must also surrender his driver's license for six months and attend DUI school within ten months.
On February 15, 2008, Paul announced that he would not seek re-election, despite the fact that he had previously pre-filed to seek a third term in the office. Paul released the following statement by email:
|Next week I will formally notify the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections office that I will not seek a third term as Superintendent of Schools in Escambia County.
I will have no further comment on this matter.