Former Hennepin County sheriff collects over $120K in 10 months of paid leave

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Former Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson, who is now a sergeant with the Metro Transit Police Department, has collected more than $120 thousand while on paid leave over the past 10 months, according to payroll information from the two agencies.

Hutchinson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DWI in December 2021. Five months later, he began paid leave from the sheriff’s office. Hennepin County records show he was paid $100 thousand from mid-May 2022 through the end of his elected term in December 2022.

In January 2023, Hutchinson notified Metro Transit he intended to go back to his old job as a Metro Transit Police sergeant, which is allowed under a state law that permits elected officials to go back to their previous public sector jobs if they took “unpaid leave” while serving in their elected capacity.

Metro Transit placed Hutchinson on paid leave immediately after he notified the agency of his intention to return. A Metro Transit spokesperson confirmed Hutchinson was on paid leave until an internal investigation into his conduct as sheriff was finished.

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Since January 2, Met Council records showed Hutchinson has been paid a little more than $23 thousand. The total amount Hutchinson has been on paid over the past ten months between Hennepin County and Metro Transit is more than $123 thousand.

A Met Council spokesperson said the agency cannot comment on Hutchinson’s case other than to say he is a Metro Transit Police employee right now. There is no timeline for the completion of the internal investigation.