MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - After a controversial final year in office sparked by a drunk driving arrest that uncovered other alleged misconduct, former Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson is already back at his old job with Metro Transit.
FOX 9 is told Hutchinson has returned to his old job at Metro Transit Police Department as a sergeant, where he served before becoming sheriff. Under state law, people who are elected to office are allowed the opportunity to return to their job after serving.
Hutchinson filed paperwork before he left Metro Transit that allowed him to return. Sources within Metro Transit Police tell FOX 9's Tom Lyden they "are furious we had to hire him."
Hutchinson is on administrative leave because of an internal complaint from within Metro Transit Police stemming from his behavior as Hennepin County Sheriff.
FOX 9 is told that if Hutchinson keeps his job with Metro Transit – a big if – he'll make $114,000, a pay raise of $23,000 from when he left his job at Metro Transit. That is because of a union agreement and state law requires him to return "at the same salary, which would have been received if the leave had not been taken."
Hutchinson returned from his leave of absence on January 2 and was placed on administrative leave the next day.
FOX 9 has reported over the past year-plus the multiple controversies Hutchinson has faced since his drunk driving arrest in December 2021.
Along with being convicted in the DWI case, FOX 9 uncovered Hutchinson was accused of creating a hostile work environment which included Hutchinson reportedly sending racist and homophobic text messages. Hutchinson was censured by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners following a human resources investigation and suspended by the state POST board for 30 days related to the drunk driving crash and other issues.
Despite the swirling controversy, Hutchinson served out the remainder of his term on medical leave but didn't run for re-election. Newly-elected Sheriff Dawanna Witt took over in Hennepin County earlier this month.
Back to the DWI crash, Hutchinson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, avoiding more serious charges, for driving above the legal limit at speeds up to 125 miles per hour on I-94 near Alexandria.