Walton official arrested in stalking

By HEATHER CIVIL Daily News Staff Writer
Former Fort Walton Beach fire chief and current Walton County code enforcement coordinator Phillip Green was arrested Wednesday evening in Okaloosa County.

Green, who lives in the Fort Walton Beach area, was taken into custody by the Fort Walton Beach Police Department and charged on a Walton County warrant for aggravated stalking, a thirddegree felony.

In a signed affidavit, 22-year-old April Sandoval, who worked with Green in the code enforcement department, alleges that Green has been "following and harassing" her.

Sandoval says that in May, Green threatened to kill her and then himself after she broke off a relationship with him.

She got a restraining order against Green on Monday, according to court documents.

During the time of the alleged stalking incidents, Green, who is married, was Sandoval’s supervisor. Since filing her complaint against Green, Sandoval has been transferred to the county human resources department. Green was transported yesterday to the Walton County Jail. He is scheduled to have a bond hearing today, according to Capt. Danny Glidewell of the Walton County Sheriff’s Department.

The county has placed Green on unpaid administrative leave for one week. After that, he can return to work, said County Administrator Mike Underwood.

The arrest will not affect Green’s job unless he’s found guilty when the case goes to court, Underwood said.

"He’s innocent until proven guilty," Underwood said.

Green, 44, came to Walton County after working for almost 23 years for the Fort Walton Beach fire department as a fire inspector, fire marshal and, most recently, fire chief.

In early March 2002, Green resigned as fire chief after seven years. Shortly thereafter, he took the job with Walton County.

He said last year that he applied for the Walton job because he was ready for a change.

Green’s arrest leaves Walton County with only one code enforcement officer. The department began with three, but former code enforcement officer Mike Newborn was fired in May after being convicted in federal court for making false statements to federal authorities.