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ASHEVILLE, NC (AP) — The director of the NC Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement has asked for a demotion ahead of the incoming Republican administration.

The Department of Public Safety says outgoing department secretary Reuben Young approved John Ledford’s request to return to Asheville as an agent starting Jan. 1.

Ledford was appointed by Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and served in the agency’s top position for three years. During his tenure, ALE expanded into enforcement activities including a SWAT-like unit that serves high-risk warrants and chases fugitives.

Earlier this year, the state auditor issued a critical report saying Ledford blocked its investigation into what it said was misuse of his state car. Ledford insisted he only used the car on state business, even though it coincided with trips home to the mountains from Raleigh.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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