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Questions continue to swirl around Hennepin County sheriff as he dismisses calls to resign

Dave Hutchinson spoke with several media outlets over the weekend.
Dave Hutchinson.

Dave Hutchinson.

Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson has no plans to resign from his law enforcement post in the wake of his recent DWI.

The 41-year-old spoke to WCCO, WCCO Radio, FOX 9 and the Star Tribune over the weekend, telling them he won't be stepping down prior to the end of his first term in January of 2023. He also said he plans to run for re-election.

"I'm not going to let one horrible mistake define me," Hutchinson told WCCO's Jennifer Mayerle.

The sheriff also reiterated versions of previous statements he had released in the immediate aftermath of the crash, in which he promised to seek help for his alcohol use and admitted to drinking before the Dec. 8 rollover crash.

Hutchinson had a BAC of 0.13, according to court documents, and photos taken at the public lot by independent photojournalist Rebecca Brannon show the county-owned vehicle was a mangled wreck following the crash. (Hutchinson's attorney and the Douglas County attorney, Chad Larson, have said the images were somehow staged.)

But questions continue to swirl around Hutchinson, who received probation and avoided jail time by pleading guilty to misdemeanor DWI in connection with the early morning crash. 

Hutchinson wasn't booked into jail until Dec. 21 — five days after he'd pleaded guilty. Ramsey County jail records show he was taken into custody around 3:40 p.m., with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office listed as the originating agency.

The county arrest record for Hutchinson.

The county arrest record for Hutchinson.

Sen. Omar Fateh, DFL-Minneapolis, has called on Hutchinson to resign

And Rep. John Thompson has twice taken to social media to contrast the treatment he received over the summer — in which he was pulled over for driving without a license plate, then fended off calls to resign after domestic violence police reports from 12 and 18 years ago emerged — with what Hutchinson has faced.

"If this was any regular hard working person would the criminal justice system work like it's working right now??" he wrote Sunday, later adding: "I thought elected officials are held to a higher standard ?"

County Attorney Larson has said the DWI case, despite involving a high-profile law enforcement figure, "came to my office like any other case does" and "was processed like any other case is." Hutchinson has also taken issue with suggestions he may have received preferential treatment.

Others have also taken issue with Hutchinson's comment to WCCO that "everybody" has driven drunk at some point.

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