One year after drunk driving crash, Hennepin Board to censure Sheriff Hutchinson

A year after his drunk driving crash, a committee of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to censure Sheriff Dave Hutchinson after an outside investigation found he engaged in a pattern of harassment and workplace bullying. 

The FOX 9 Investigators first reported in July on allegations that Hutchinson had created a hostile work environment for his senior Command Staff, that included racist text messages and derogatory language.

According to the resolution the committee approved Thursday, the County Administration received reports on April 19 that Hutchinson was behaving in a hostile and retaliatory manner toward Sheriff's Office personnel.

The full board will vote on the censure December 15.

RELATED: Sheriff Hutchinson accused of creating hostile work environment, sending racist and homophobic texts

The county hired an outside firm to investigate the allegations. The resolution said the Sheriff and his lawyer did not participate in the investigation.

It is unclear what impact a censure will have on the Sheriff who hasn’t been on the job for at least seven months.

Hutchinson went on a voluntary medical leave on May 18, as he pursued a PTSD disability claim.

In addition, Hutchinson’s law enforcement license was suspended for 30 days, beginning November 22, stemming from his drunk driving crash on December 8, 2021, while returning from a police conference in Alexandria.  Because state law requires a county sheriff to be licensed, he will not be paid for those 30 days.

FOX 9 has reached out to Hutchinson for comment on the pending censure.

Hutchinson has also signed an agreement to pay off the SUV he totaled in the drunk driving crash.  The vehicle cost $47,711.  As of Thursday, $5,250 had been repaid.

Hutchinson earned $185,775 a year as sheriff.

His last official day as sheriff is January 2.