Hennepin Co. Sheriff Hutchinson’s peace officer license to be suspended for 30 days in November

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson will serve a 30-day peace officer license suspension in November, according to the Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST Board.)

The full suspension is 180 days, with 150 days stayed for three years with conditions.

The license suspension stems from a Dec. 8. 2021 incident, after which Hutchinson admitted to drinking and driving before crashing a squad vehicle in Douglas County.

He was later sentenced to two years of probation and said he’d entered a treatment program to address alcohol issues. He also agreed to pay for the squad vehicle he totaled during the crash.

A statement from the POST Board reads, in part:

“As the licensing and regulatory body for peace officer licenses in the State of Minnesota, the Board takes its responsibility to hold peace officers accountable who violate the law or licensing standards of conduct very seriously, regardless of the officer’s rank or position.

Sheriff Hutchinson pleaded guilty to a violation of Minn. Stat. 169A.20, Subd. 1(5), operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration above 0.08, a misdemeanor offense. As a result, the Board sought to impose licensing sanctions against the Sheriff’s peace officer license pursuant to our authority.

In this process, the Complaint Investigation Committee (CIC) and ultimately the full Board, considered many factors including the Sheriff’s specific conduct in the incident, his own acknowledgement that he should be held to a higher standard as Sheriff as well as public safety. In every case, the Board and CIC also consider past licensing sanctions imposed for similar violations of law or POST standards of conduct. In the case of most first offense, misdemeanor DUIs with no extenuating circumstances, licensing sanctions typically consist of some period of license suspension with the actual suspension stayed with no suspension time served, unless a same or similar violation occurs in the future.

In this case, the CIC reached a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order (SACO) with Sheriff Hutchinson imposing discipline against his peace officer license. The SACO was approved by the full Board at the September 22, 2022 board meeting.

Under this sanction, Sheriff Hutchinson’s peace officer license is suspended for 180 days, with 150 days stayed for three years with conditions. Sheriff Hutchinson will be required to serve the 30 day suspension of his peace officer license in November of 2022.

Hutchinson’s term is set to conclude at the end of the year, and he said in February that he won’t seek reelection.

In May, the county announced Hutchinson would be taking an indefinite leave of absence, for health-related reasons.