Friday, January 11, 2008

Jim Paul Says He Won’t Step Down After DUI Arrest

The Escambia County School Board superintendent talked to the press today and stated he won’t resign from his position after being arrested for DUI. Jim Paul concedes that he will be punished for his actions, but he doesn’t think he should have to step down. During today’s interviews, he never justified his decision to not resign.

Paul knows what he did is wrong, but he doesn’t think it means he should leave his job.

The superintendent tries to make it sound like he was “accidentally” driving drunk while he was behind the wheel of his car. He blames his actions on a patron of a casino where he was hanging out, the night he was arrested.

After playing the nickel slots (cheap skate) and consuming a couple glasses of wine, Paul says he was startled by a drunk guy that tapped on his window while he was sleeping in his car which was parked in a garage at the Hard Rock casino in Clearwater, FL.

The PNJ account of the Paul incident infers that the superintendent was frightened and left the parking garage.

On an empty stomach, Paul drove back to his hotel in Tampa and police reports say he became lost and was pulled over by a Pinellas County deputy who stopped him for “speeding and swerving.”

The superintendent should quit blaming the drunken guy; it’s not his fault that Paul drove drunk. OK – so Jim thought he was unsafe in the parking lot, but he should have woken himself, walked into casino and sobered up.

Paul showed poor judgment when he drove while he was still inebriated, but I don’t know if this reflects upon his duties as superintendent. I’m sure many successful people in America can do a good job at work, even if they happened to have been arrested for DUI in their off time.

Should Paul be fired? I don’t know.

I guess we should look at how the private sector employers treat their employees when they get charged with a DUI. We should also look at how other elected officials across the country are treated when it comes to being arrested for drinking at the wheel.

Paul will probably stay on as superintendent because the school board doesn’t have the authority to fire him. Although, this doesn’t mean that voters of Escambia County will not think about his arrest when he comes up for reelection.

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