Jacksonville Daily Progress
How do council members select a good municipal judge? They choose the one willing to work for free!
Veteran attorney Paul J. Mascot – lauded for the time he has spent volunteering as a weekend municipal judge – was formally selected as the newest full-timer by the Jacksonville City Council Monday.
He will rotate in Nov. 1, replacing exiting Judge Dan Connelly, who will rotate out toward a municipal judgeship in Bullard.
In his other job, Mascot works in family law and probate court for the Jacksonville-based Richards & Penn, LLP.
Mascot's father was a career Air Force officer, and growing up, Mascot moved around a lot. He lived in multiple states such as California and Alabama as well as in the country of Libya. He graduated from high school in Waco in 1965.
In 1969, he received his Bachelors of Arts in History from Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. In 1975, he completed his Doctor of Jurisprudence at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin.
From 1971 to 1973, he worked in military intelligence for the United States Army, followed by an 18-year stint with the Army Reserve, ultimately retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Licensed in Texas law in 1975, Mascot worked as an attorney for the State of Texas between 1976 and 2008 and has been in private practice since 2008.
He has been married to his wife Rebecca for three decades.
The mayor said he is very impressed with the new municipal judge.
"He's a very, very nice guy and is well, well versed in law," said Mayor Kenneth B. Melvin. "Plus, there's the fact he has been working as a volunteer. He has trained people and is very knowledgeable of the job."
Mascot was selected as the most qualified candidate out of two who applied to the city, said City Manager Mo Raissi.
So how much does a former volunteer municipal judge make? Mascot, 65, will work 20 hours a week at $26 an hour, Raissi said.
Mascot said as far as the workload is concerned, he and Municipal Judge Pete Menefee each will oversee the court for half of each month.
Mascot has been volunteering as an associate municipal judge in Jacksonville since September 2011. He said Tuesday he has enjoyed giving his time and working with Judge Connelly and Judge Menefee.
"But it hasn't been as much work as they make it sound," Mascot said, laughing. "It sounds harder than it actually is."