A former McAlester city manager who spent time in federal prison and is a current Durant resident was arrested last week for threatening city workers.
Randy Steven Green, 60, was charged with misdemeanor intimidation of a worker. Green was charged with the crime Thursday and during an initial appearance Friday, he pleaded not guilty and bond was set at $500, and he was released from jail.
According to a probable-cause affidavit by Durant Police Detective Ben Veenstra, Don Darnell, the city’s water department supervisor, went to Green’s residence on Mason Street Aug. 7 due to a complaint made by Green about a defective water meter.
As a matter of routine, Darnell checks the water meter and then contacts the tenants to have them turn off water so he can check for water flow. Darnell told police that after making contact with Green, Green, using profanity, told Darnell and city employee Elliott Downs to get off his property.
The affidavit states that Green followed them and threatened to “kick their (behinds).” Darnell then called police to request an officer and during the recorded phone call, Green can be heard yelling obscenities and threats at the city workers. Detective Veenstra listened to the recording and it was apparent Green was highly agitated and that a reasonable person would conclude an attack was forthcoming. Darnell told police he felt like he would be battered by Green due to him chasing him into the street.
Green posted comments on his Facebook page disputing the city’s allegations. He wrote that this began in November when he received a high water bill for the residence adjacent to his where his youngest stepdaughter, her fiance and their baby live. This was due to a faulty meter, according to Green, who wrote that the city, who first claimed it was because of a water leak, eventually replaced the meter after they got tired of hearing complaints. Green’s stepdaughter was late in paying the bill, but paid it in full on the morning of April 2, and the city water supervisor refused to turn the water back on that day. Green wrote that the water was not turned back on until he called the vice mayor and his city council representative.
Green wrote that during his arguments with the city over his stepdaughter’s water bill, that his water bill went up.
“My water bill went up 50 percent and was the highest it had been in the three years of living at this house … the city water department was adamant once again, it was a ‘water leak.’ Instead of going through spending thousands of dollars hunting another ‘phantom leak,’ I requested the meter be checked and calibrated by a certified tech. The City of Durant didn’t know how to react. They did what cities do when they do not know what to do and that is ignoring you.”
Contacted by the Democrat via Facebook, Green made this statement: “This bogus arrest is the latest in a series of retaliatory actions by certain city leaders due to my being a “community activist” by requesting public records of official’s salaries, neglect to code enforcement, streets and flooding ills which is blatant in every area of Durant.
“Despite retiring to the Lake Texoma area, three decades of city management experience will not let me sit idly by while current Durant leadership refuses to pursue any resolutions to these blatant problems caused by outright neglect.
“The fact the warrant was issued stating I had ‘intimidated a laborer from continuing or performing their work as employees of the City of Durant from investigating my complaint of a defective water meter’ reeks of covering tracks and pure harassment by the simple fact my water meter is located one and one half city blocks from my residence. Since I never left my property, it would be physically impossible to intimidate someone 1 and 1/2 blocks away.
“The truth of the incident is the city water supervisor refused to leave my property despite four requests from me after he berated my wife’s uncle. My understanding of the law is I am entitled to control who enters and remains on my private property. My ordering the city water supervisor to leave my property after being derogatory and abrasive to my wife’s uncle is adequate cause to order him to leave my private property. Especially since the water meter is 1 and 1/2 blocks away and across the street which in itself is asinine and contrary to law.
“The same city water supervisor had previously refused to restore water service to my stepdaughter and her fiance residence where their infant child was ill with the flu.”
Green was city manager of McAlester from 1981 until 2005 when he was fired by the city. In 2006, Green was sentenced to four years and three months in prison following his conviction on federal embezzlement charges that accused him of misapplying money from the city during a time when it was receiving federal funds. Federal prosecutors accused Green of selling his unused leave days totaling about $585,000 – almost $458,000 more than he was entitled to – in less than five years before being fired in January 2005, The Associated Press reported. He was also ordered to pay $496,405 in restitution.