State board suspends Hennepin County sheriff’s peace officer license

Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson
Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson speaks at a news conference in April 2021.
Matt Sepic | MPR News file

The Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training Board is suspending Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson’s peace officer license for 30 days, in response to his DWI crash last year.

Hutchinson crashed his county-issued SUV last December on Interstate 94 south of Alexandria, shortly after leaving an annual sheriff’s conference.

Hutchinson rolled the vehicle, and according to a State Patrol report, was traveling at speeds of more than 120 mph at the time of the crash. He pleaded guilty to a DWI misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to two years probation.

The board, in a ruling during a closed meeting in late September, suspended Hutchinson’s peace officer license for 180 days but stayed 150 days of that penalty for three years, if he follows certain conditions — including not committing any similar offenses and complying with the sentence handed down in state court.

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The remaining 30-day suspension will begin in early November.

“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,” the board said in an emailed statement.

The board said it weighed past licensing sanctions for similar offenses.

“In the case of most first offense[s], 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,” the board wrote.

Hutchinson is not running again for Hennepin County sheriff, which is on the ballot this November.

He has been on voluntary leave from the sheriff’s office since May 18.