Politics

Assistant Sheriff Hellmold demoted following election

In this file photo, Los Angeles sheriff candidate James Hellmold speaks at the Van Nuys Civic Center. Hellmold was demoted following his failed campaign, though department officials say the change had nothing to do with politics.
In this file photo, Los Angeles sheriff candidate James Hellmold speaks at the Van Nuys Civic Center. Hellmold was demoted following his failed campaign, though department officials say the change had nothing to do with politics.
Stuart Palley/ KPCC

A losing candidate for Los Angeles County sheriff has been demoted.

James Hellmold told KPCC he was notified a day after Tuesday's election that he'd been demoted from assistant sheriff to chief of countywide services.

Though he would not comment on the reasoning behind the move, Hellmold said he would be happy to serve in any way possible and would work any job he was assigned to.

"Every position in the department is important," he said.

Interim Sheriff John Scott said in a written statement that Hellmold was promoted too quickly and will benefit from gaining operational experience in a lower rank, and department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said the demotion has nothing to do with politics, the L.A. Times reports.

Hellmold came in fourth in the election. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell and current undersheriff Paul Tanaka face a runoff.

The sheriff's department issued the following statement:

The Sheriff has been committed to implementing reforms and changes since he took the interim Sheriff position. There have been continuing initiatives to improve and enhance the overall performance of the Department. The Sheriff is a big proponent of Good to Great principles. He believes that the right people should be on the right bus in the right seat. He will continue to evaluate and assess the structure and personnel for the greater good of the Department.