Juvenile justice official accused of DUI
A local child care advocate calls him unfit for his position.
By ABHI RAGHUNATHAN
Published August 3, 2006
The superintendent of the Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center was arrested last week on charges of driving under the influence in Manatee County, records show.
James Joseph Uliasz, 39, was arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or above, according to state driver license records. Manatee County court records show Uliasz has entered a written plea of not guilty.
It is unclear which law enforcement agency arrested Uliasz or what his blood alcohol level might have been. Uliasz did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Uliasz oversees the Juvenile Detention Center, a 120-bed institution that serves youth detained by various circuit courts. Youths are kept there until their cases are resolved or they are moved to other detention or treatment facilities. The average length of stay in secure detention is approximately 12 days, according to the JDC.
Some local child welfare advocates are calling for Uliasz to step aside until his case is resolved in Manatee County. Cathy Corry, president of the nonprofit justice4kids.org, said Uliasz's arrest shows he is unfit to watch over kids in trouble with the law.
Her group led a protest outside the Juvenile Detention Center Wednesday night.
"We expect more from the administrators," said Corry. "Superintendents have to be accountable."
Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Abhi Raghunathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727 893-8472.
[Last modified August 3, 2006, 01:39:02]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]