Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox says he's running for Leon School Superintendent in 2016.
Maddox is the first person to declare for the race to either unseat, or replace current Superintendent Jackie Pons.
The Leon County School District is under an FBI investigation for a range of issues. A federal subpoena issued last month for the district's email server sought in formation about school construction projects, the warrant also goes further with targeted inquiries about potential political motives in decision-making.
And two district employees--one current and one former-- have alleged Superintendent Jackie Pons steered school construction projects to political donors. Pons has denied the accusations, which first turned up in a notebook distributed to local media outlets and forwarded to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FBI. Several reviews of the allegations have found no criminal wrongdoing, although the district has been docked for violating what the school board's auditor called, the spirit of the law."
Leon County was further slammed by a more recent state audit that also raised concerns about its school construction policies.
In announcing his bid for school superintendent, City Commissioner Scott Maddox said, "of the headlines from the last two years about our schools, very few of them have been about things that further the goals of our children."
Maddox is positioning himself as a reform candidate.
"At the City of Tallahassee if we do an RFP, or request for proposal or a bid, it’s a very structured process. It is structured in such a way that it is very difficult for someone to manipulate it. I think we need those types of controls in the Leon County Schools," he said.
Maddox is a former President of the Florida League of Cities and a former chairman of the Florida Democratic Party. But under his watch, faulty book-keeping at the party led the Internal Revenue Service to place a lien on the party. The mismanagement ultimately derailed Maddox’s 2006 gubernatorial bid.
Other potential candidates include former State Rep. Lorraine Ausley and Leon High Principal Rocky Hanna. Maddox will run for the district office while maintaining his seat on the City Commission. His term is set to expire in 2016.