Hutchinson announced Wednesday he'll finish the remainder of his term but has ended his campaign for re-election, calling it "one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in my life."
This decision comes after Hutchinson admitted to drinking prior to crashing his department-issued vehicle on Dec. 8, 2021, and was convicted of misdemeanor DWI.
Calls for his resignation grew in the weeks after the crash, especially in the wake of the release of case documents that show he was going 125 mph just before he crashed on Interstate 94 in Alexandria around 2:30 a.m.
Records also indicate he insisted to law enforcement on the scene that he wasn't driving, and tried to blame the wreck on a cab driver he claimed had been behind the wheel. Investigators found three guns at the scene and open containers of alcohol in the SUV. Witnesses said they saw him crawling away from the crashed vehicle.
"I refuse to be pushed out of my role as sheriff by political figures with alternative motives which would likely come at the cost of the safety and security of the residents of Hennepin County," Hutchinson said Wednesday. "I will spend the remainder of my term ensuring that the residents of Hennepin County continue to get the service they expect from our office."
Hutchinson said he decided to not seek re-election after spending the past month talking with family, friends, and supporters. He says he realized this is what's best for the community, the sheriff's office and for himself.
After the crash, Hutchinson said he takes full responsibility for his actions and that he enrolled in an outpatient treatment program to address his issues with alcohol and his overall health.
"I am incredibly proud of the work my agency has accomplished during my time as sheriff. Every single day in office I have been amazed at the care, dedication, and thoughtfulness our employees put into their work for the residents of Hennepin County. I believe in the work that our employees continue to do for the community, and they will have my unwavering support," Hutchinson said in his statement.
Hutchinson noted his staff has been "very supportive during this difficult time," and has remained committed to serving the people of Hennepin County.