County Undersheriff Steve Bolts, the second-highest ranking leader in the Sheriff’s Department, has announced that he plans to retire effective Sept. 17.
Department spokesman Rob Bryn said Bolts had plan-ned to retire in January, after a new sheriff takes office.Sheriff Pat Hedges is retiring after 12 years in the position. Retired Pismo Beach police Chief Joe Cortez and San Luis Obispo police Capt. Ian Parkinson are running to replace him in November’s election.
Bolts and Hedges had discussed the earlier date and “mutually came to this decision,” Bryn said of the Friday announcement.
Bolts was in meetings on Monday and not available for an interview, Bryn said.
Bryn said that Bolts sent an e-mail letter to department employees Friday, announcing his plans. He plans to spend more time with his family, Bryn said.
The undersheriff earns $170,476 annually.
Last month, Bolts pleaded not guilty to charges of driving drunk June 5 in Atascadero.
Bolts’ attorney, Chris Casciola, said a blood test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.09 percent.
A preliminary breath screening taken by police after Bolts’ traffic stop showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.086 percent. The legal limit for driving in California is 0.08 percent.
A pre-trial hearing has been set for Sept. 20 at 8:30 a.m. before San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera, according to the county District Attorney’s Office.