The San Joaquin County sheriff-coroner, who was accused last year of meddling in death investigations, fell short in his bid for re-election.
Three-term incumbent Sheriff Steve Moore trailed his opponent Pat Withrow by 17 points Wednesday, with 100 percent of precinct votes reported.
Moore conceded defeat Wednesday morning in a phone call to Withrow, congratulating him on his win even as the county registrar was still tallying 50,000 vote-by-mail and provisional ballots.
Moore lost support after two forensic pathologists in the coroner's office alleged that the sheriff interfered with autopsy findings and used his political office to shield officers who killed civilians. The allegations were first reported by KQED.
Dr. Bennet Omalu, a nationally renowned forensic pathologist famous for his discovery of a concussion-related disease in football players, worked for the sheriff for a decade.
Shortly after his colleague Dr. Susan Parson quit in November, Omalu tendered his own resignation. Together the doctors submitted over 100 pages of documentation to county officials that they said showed Moore had repeatedly violated medical and ethical standards in his role as coroner.