Pinellas school resource officer fired for alleged DUI in cruiser

A school resource officer at a Pinellas County high school has been fired by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office after investigators believed he was driving his marked police car while off duty, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Tuesday Drive after drunk.

Deputy Christopher Green, 33, was fired Dec. 20, two days after Hillsborough deputies said they found him passed out behind the wheel of a sheriff’s office vehicle in Brandon, Internal Affairs records show. Green was hired by the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office in 2019 and works at Hollins High School in Kenneth.

Green could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday at a phone number listed under his name.

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According to the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office, Hillsborough deputies found Green in his car on Dec. 18 on West Brandon Avenue and North Kings Avenue. Gualtieri said Greene took the car to a liquor store after get off work.

Gualtieri said Greene told the Hillsborough representative he was diabetic and needed to go to hospital. Once there, Gualtieri said, he called his ex-girlfriend to come pick him up and left before being discharged from the hospital.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s spokesman Marco Villarreal said Green was taken to the hospital with health issues.

“Deputies then found what appeared to be a container of alcohol in the vehicle after the driver left the hospital, so we were unable to perform damage testing,” he said in an email.

Because of this, Green is not facing any criminal charges in connection with the incident.

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Hillsborough’s agency notified the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office of the incident before Greene left the hospital. A Sergeant Pinellas was on his way to see Green at the hospital, but changed course after Green left and, with the help of Hillsborough representatives, located Green at his father’s residence.

Gualtieri said Sergeant Pinellas ordered Greene to take a portable breath test that was used in the Pinellas agency’s internal investigation into the incident. Tests showed Greene’s breath-alcohol concentration was almost three times the legal limit, the sheriff said. However, Gualtieri said that because he was forced to take the test for administrative purposes, the test could not be used as admissible legal evidence.

Gualtieri said he could not explain why Hillsborough was unable to pursue a criminal case, but said his agency decided to fire Green based on the information they had about the incident.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office policy states that employees who drive under the influence of alcohol will be fired.Gualtieri make policy In 2013, two of his agency’s deputies and a corporal were arrested on DUI charges.

Gualtieri said the policy has helped reduce the number of drunk drivers in the sheriff’s office.

“I can’t stand it,” he said.