Editor's Note: This article has been corrected.
After 30 years of service and more than 50 felony jury trials, Imperial County Assistant District Attorney Joe Beard retired Friday.
The longtime public servant celebrated his retirement in the company of family, friends and colleagues, as well as numerous county and city officials at an event held at the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
During the event, Beard received numerous plaques and letters of recognition, including one from state Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“I feel great,” Beard said with a smile. When asked what he felt was his greatest accomplishment on the job, he replied, “that’s for others to judge.”
However, after a few moments he expanded his answer.
“I came to work happy and left happy, that’s my greatest achievement,” he said.
But Beard has various achievements to take with him.
During his time as assistant district attorney, he handled the District Attorney’s Office budget and was involved in the expansion of the office which grew from 16 employees to 75.
He was also instrumental in securing $2 million in federal asset forfeiture funds for the office he served since 1982.
Moreover, he prosecuted two capital cases and had a reputation for being an aggressive and proficient trial attorney.
And just last year, Beard received a lifetime achievement award from the Imperial County Bar Association for his contribution to the field.
“He’s probably one of smartest guys I know,” said District Attorney Gilbert Otero, who described Beard as a man with ample knowledge of the law and “a mentor to many … a mentor not only to my staff, but also to me.”
Deborah Owen, county senior deputy district attorney, also recognized Beard as important in her professional life.
“Joe has been my mentor since 1995,” said Owen, who added that Beard was a well of information who helped her become a better attorney.
“I’m excited for him … but I will miss him,” she said.
As far as what the future holds for him, Beard said he has nothing planned aside from going to baseball games in Arizona, travel and plenty of house work.
When asked what he’ll miss the most, he quickly responded, “the people. I’m going to miss seeing the people and the job. I loved the job and I had a great run for 30 years.”
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or email@example.com
Editor's Note: The article misidentified Joe Beard's title. He retired as the assistant district attorney.