Walz still silent as more Democrats call on Hutchinson to resign

Walz endorsed Hutchinson in 2018 when they were both candidates for the offices they now hold. 

Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson and Gov. Tim Walz pose for a picture in November 2018 when they were both candidates for their respective offices. (Sheriff Dave Hutchinson/Facebook)

A growing chorus of Minnesota Democrats is calling for the resignation of Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson, though Gov. Tim Walz has yet to chime in.

Walz endorsed Hutchinson in 2018 when they were both candidates for the offices they now hold. Hutchinson rolled his county-owned vehicle off the road while traveling home to Minneapolis from a sheriffs’ conference. After the accident, his urine revealed a blood alcohol content of .13 — nearly twice the legal limit of .08.

He was reportedly “crawling along the road” after the Dec. 8 crash, according to police scanner audio. Many other disturbing details about the crash and its aftermath have come to light since then.

Most members of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners recently called on Sheriff Hutchinson to resign, saying he has lost the public’s confidence.

“Sheriff Hutchinson’s actions and subsequent comments have eroded public confidence in his ability to serve and equitably enforce laws,” Board Chair Marion Greene said in a Thursday evening statement.

Minneapolis City Council member Jamal Osman also tweeted out a similar call on Thursday afternoon.

“I want to raise my voice and join the other elected officials who have called for the resignation of Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson,” he said. “Sheriff Hutchinson wrecked a government vehicle, under the influence, with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, while on official business. He cannot credibly be the head law enforcement official for Hennepin County. His comments since his drunken crash have been equally troubling for the lack of awareness and contrition in them.”

Osman continued by wishing Hutchinson well and hoping he “takes care of himself, gets healthy, and works to rebuild the trust that this incident has broken.” But he said it’s nevertheless clear that the sheriff is not currently fit for his post.

Sheriff Hutchinson has been facing resignation calls since this past December. The Republican Party of Minnesota called on him to resign before most Minnesota Democrats did. Hutchinson pleaded guilty in December to one count of fourth-degree driving while intoxicated (DWI). He avoided jail time and was asked to pay a $610 fine, along with other provisions, instead.

Despite the controversy, Hutchinson has no plans to resign.

“I am fully committed to continuing to serve the people of Hennepin County who elected me. I will let the citizens, not politicians, decide my future in November,” he said in a statement through a spokesman.

Although Hutchinson is remaining steadfast, he has expressed remorse for his actions.

“I’ve been treated like anybody else,” he said in an interview with Fox 9. “In fact, if I wasn’t in this level, I probably wouldn’t have had as much attention. I chose to do this. I made the mistake. I’m facing the consequences and I’ll have to live with the consequences for the rest of my life.”