It didn’t take Graham Fountain long to find something to keep him busy in his county commission after life.


Fountain, who announced a week ago he would not seek a second term on the Okaloosa County Commission, has signed on to help local lawyer Ginger Madden transition into the role of State Attorney.


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Fountain, who had raised over $131,000 in campaign contributions before announcing he wouldn’t run, said an offer to work with, and possibly head, Madden’s team did not factor into his decision to end his bid for re-election.


He won’t be paid for his efforts, and said he probably couldn’t accept money before his term on the commission expired anyway.


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“She ain’t offered me no job,” he insisted.


That doesn’t mean helping Madden put together a team and a business model couldn’t pay dividends down the road.


Fountain worked on Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson’s transition team and wound up spending five-and-a-half years at the agency, moving from captain, to major, to chief deputy.


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Both Fountain and Madden said it’s too early to discuss whether a place could be made for Fountain in the State Attorney’s Office hierarchy. As Madden pointed out, he is not a lawyer, and state agency budgets could yet be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.


But neither ruled anything out either.


“I would never say never. I think Graham has a lot to offer,” Madden said.


Fountain conceded that any long term employment decisions on his end could be affected by health concerns. One reason he is leaving the commission, he said, involved “continuing to know I would be doing a very stressful job for the next four-and-a-half to five years.”


For her part, Madden, who left her job as an assistant state attorney to run for office, plans to return to work in June in a new role. Much of it, she said, will involve on the job learning under outgoing State Attorney Bill Eddins.


“I will be assisting with a lot of his duties and visiting the different offices to work in each,” she said. “It will be fluid.”


Florida’s First Judicial Circuit has four offices, one each in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties. Madden said she expects to spend most or all of her first term working from the Pensacola office, which is the circuit’s largest.


The difficult work of actually transitioning won’t likely get underway until two or three months before Madden is actually sworn in, Fountain said.


Madden said she feels fortunate to have as much time as she will to prepare before assuming office. And with Fountain on board to help, she said, she’ll have the luxury of experience on her side as she decides who else to bring on to assist in that preparation.


“I’ve never had a transition team before,” she said.


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