Former sheriff Dave Hutchinson fired by Metro Transit PD
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Embattled former Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson has been fired by Metro Transit after an internal investigation, just two months after he was reinstated under a state law.
After leaving his job as Hennepin County Sheriff, following months of controversy sparked by a drunk driving arrest in December 2021, Hutchinson returned as a sergeant to his former job at Metro Transit. In Minnesota, state law allows elected leaders to be reinstated to their former jobs after serving in office.
Shortly after being reinstated, Hutchinson was placed on administrative leave after an internal complaint was filed linked to his controversies as Hennepin County Sheriff.
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In a letter, obtained by FOX 9, Metro Transit Chief Ernest Morales notified Hutchinson that Metro Transit intended to terminate Hutchinson's employment. A hearing on the matter was held two days later, which in another letter, Chief Morales says Hutchinson didn't attend. As a result, Morales terminated Hutchinson effective March 17.
On Wednesday, Hutchinson notified Metro Transit he was waiving his right to challenge the termination.
"After Mr. Hutchinson’s reinstatement, a formal complaint was filed, and the Met Council did a full investigation into the allegations," reads a statement from Metro Transit. "Based on the results of the investigation, Mr. Hutchinson has been discharged and is no longer an employee of the Metro Transit Police Department.
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 sheriff term on medical leave but didn't run for re-election.