An officer no more: Baron surrenders peace officer license for dismissal of perjury charge

In this file photo from July, former Beeville police officer Greg Baron (right) discusses his aggravated perjury case with his attorney, Greg Cagle, outside the courthouse in downtown Beeville. During his jury trial last week, Baron voluntarily surrendered his peace officer license in exchange for the dismissal of the third-degree felony charge. (Photo by Kevin J. Keller)

Former Beeville police officer Greg Baron surrendered his peace officer license in a courtroom deal that saw the perjury charge against him dismissed by the district attorney.

During the second day of testimony in the case against him, Baron offered to permanently surrender his license in exchange for the dismissal of the third degree felony charge of aggravated perjury he was facing.

Prosecutors from the 156th District Attorney’s Office accepted Baron’s offer, executed the surrender paperwork in the courtroom and then confiscated Baron’s peace officer license.

The charge was then dismissed against the former Beeville Police Department officer.

“This case went to the very core of our justice system and the constitutional ideals of due process,” said Assistant District Attorney Brian Watson in a release from the district attorney’s office. “Public trust in government and policing is central to our democracy. We must make sure that those who engage in serious misconduct are held to account.

It’s a matter of protecting the public, and protecting the reputation of our honorable police officers who choose to do the right thing, day in and day out. I want to thank the jurors that sacrificed their personal time in order to help us seek justice; without them we could not have reached this result.”

Baron was facing the perjury charge in connection with testimony he had given during a hearing related to a 2019 DWI case.

During a pre-trial suppression hearing, Baron testified “…I have never arrested anybody for open container.”

Prior to the hearing, Baron allegedly had previously stated, outside the courtroom, that he did in fact make the arrest based on the charge of open container.

Baron was a sergeant with the Beeville Police Department when he testified in the hearing in 2020. In March 2021, Baron’s employment with the BPD was terminated, then-Chief Robert Bridge confirmed in July.

During the perjury trial, former Assistant Bee County Attorney Cameron Brumfield testified that he believed Baron committed perjury with his statement, while Beeville Police Department Sgt. Nathan Hazelton testified that Baron made different statements on scene from those later made in the pre-trial hearing.

The license forfeiture, according to the district attorney’s release, is permanent and irrevocable.

“The agreement for voluntary surrender of his peace officer license ensures that Greg Baron will never be a police officer again,” the release read.

“Ultimately, not every case needs to end in a conviction for justice to be served, and we are satisfied that the alternate resolution is in the best interest of public safety and our community,” the release concluded.

“Without integrity, peace officers are of no value to our community,” First Assistant District Attorney Tiffany McWilliams said in that same release. “Mr. Baron will never be a Texas peace officer in this community or any other.”

Baron was facing a penalty of two to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

•kkeller@mysoutex.com•

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Kevin J. Keller is the content director for Coastal Bend Publishing and the editor of the Beeville Bee-Picayune. He can be reached by email at sports@mysoutex.com or by phone at 361-343-5223, or you can follow him on Twitter @beepicsports.