Fired Santa Maria prosecutor Paul Greco faces criminal charges for bringing a handgun into the Santa Maria District Attorney’s office, a public building. The charges were brought by the California Attorney General’s office rather than the District Attorney after it was determined local authorities had a conflict.
Greco, one of two prosecutors running the Santa Maria office, was suspended on December 17 after backlash from an affair he’d had with a subordinate prosecutor achieved critical mass. The husband of the attorney in question reportedly put an angry note on Greco’s car, which Greco interpreted as a threat. In the chain of events, Greco became distraught, went missing, and was believed to be potentially suicidal, though mental health workers who later evaluated him concluded otherwise. The gun incident for which the Attorney General charged Greco occurred several months prior.
In a written statement, Greco countered he brought the handgun, legally registered and unloaded, into a part of office off limits to the general public. He said he brought the gun to train other deputies about the mechanics of handguns for the purpose of courtroom preparation, and that none of this had been an issue of concern until after his suspension. District Attorney Joyce Dudley terminated Greco earlier this month.