More Public Officials Call For Sheriff Hutchinson’s Resignation After …

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Four of Hennepin County’s seven commissioners and a Minneapolis City Council member have joined the call for Sheriff Dave Hutchinson to resign following his drunk driving conviction last month.

Hutchinson admitted to drinking before rolling his county-owned SUV on the early morning of Dec. 8 in Alexandria after leaving a Minnesota Sheriff’s Association conference. His blood-alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit, and investigators say Hutchinson repeatedly denied being behind the wheel in the hours after the crash.

READ MORE: Warrant: Hennepin Co. Sheriff Hutchinson Claimed ‘Cab Driver’ Was Behind Wheel After DWI Rollover

District 3 Commissioner Marion Greene tweeted Thursday that Hutchinson’s “actions and later comments have deteriorated public confidence [in] his ability to serve and equitably enforce laws.” She also wrote that several residents of her district have reached out to her with stories of how “drunken driving has impacted them and/or loved ones.”

District 6 Commissioner Chris LaTondresse also released a statement Thursday calling for Hutchinson’s resignation, writing that the sheriff “abundant lives and violated the laws he took an oath to uphold and enforce.” The commissioner also alluded to a comment Hutchinson made during last month’s WCCO interview with reporter Jennifer Mayerle. When asked if he had ever pushed drunk before the morning he crashed, Hutchinson replied “Everyone has at some point.”

“This breakdown in trust makes delivering on the potential of public safety that much more difficult, especially for those who sacrifice and serve our community every day in their roles at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office,” LaTondresse wrote.

Also on Thursday, Minneapolis City Council Member Jamal Osman wrote on Twitter that he believes Hutchinson should leave office and focus on his recovery.

“I hope he takes care of himself, gets healthy, and works to rebuild the trust that this incident has broken. But he is not fit to be the Hennepin County Sheriff at this time and should resign,” Osman wrote.

Sheriff Dave Hutchinson (credit: CBS)

District 2 Commissioner Irene Fernando said on Twitter Wednesday that she sent a letter to the sheriff urging him to resign, calling his actions “egregious,” and saying “his comments since the crash are unjustifiable.”

READ MORE: ‘What Happened Is Inexcusable’: Hennepin Co. Sheriff Hutchinson Says He Won’t Resign After DWI Conviction

“The only way to continue the dignity of the Sheriff’s office and to show respect for the laws you are sworn to uphold is to resign closest,” Fernando wrote.

Fernando said the sheriff’s comment to Mayerle about drunk driving “harmfully normalizes dangerous behavior, and it disrespects the approximately 120 Minnesotan families who lost a loved one to alcohol-related crashes in 2021.”

The commissioner also said she spoke with Hutchinson on the phone several days after the crash, urging him to take a leave of absence and seek treatment.

“You strongly disagreed, and since you are an elected official, I do not have the authority to place you on leave,” Fernando wrote.

District 1 Commissioner Jeffrey Lunde, the county’s chair of public safety, also announced Wednesday night that he’s “in agreement” with Fernando.

“With the current tense climate around public safety, an incident like this involving the head public safety official of Hennepin County needs to be addressed,” Lunde wrote in a statement. “Trust needs to be earned, and I know that accountability is central to building and maintaining this trust.”

Sheriff Hutchinson also told Mayerle in last month’s interview that he doesn’t plan on resigning, and he will seek re-election.

Minnesota State Sen. Omar Fateh also called for Hutchinson’s resignation last month, saying in part “I believe in second chances when it comes to chemical dependency, but the path to redemption requires accountability.”

MORE NEWS: MN State Senator Calls For Hennepin Co. Sheriff Dave Hutchinson To Resign Following DWI

Hutchinson was convicted of fourth-degree DWI last month, and agreed as part of his plea deal to undergo random drug and alcohol testing. He’s also banned from drinking alcohol and getting any driving violations. He told Mayerle last month that he has stopped drinking.

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