MINNEAPOLIS — Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson, who pleaded guilty to drunk driving this winter, will not be seeking re-election in November.
The reports, which began circulating Wednesday morning, were confirmed by Hennepin County Sheriff spokesperson Jeremy Zoss. Hutchinson himself released a statement on his decision later Wednesday morning.
"After spending time over the past month having discussions with family, friends, and supporters, I have made the difficult decision to not seek re-election for Hennepin County Sheriff in the 2022 election," Hutchinson said in a released statement. "Early this morning, I informed my staff of my decision to not seek re-election."
"I will not be resigning as Sheriff and will finish serving out my term in office," the sheriff continued. "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 safety and security of the residents of Hennepin County. 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 has been facing mounting criticism and calls to step down since he admitted to driving drunk and crashing his county-issued SUV in the early morning hours of Dec. 8 on I-94 near Alexandria.
He was sentenced Dec. 20 to two years of probation on the drunk driving charge.
Hutchinson released a statement after pleading guilty, saying that he was enrolled in an outpatient treatment program to address his "issues with alcohol" and his "overall health."
Last month, the State Patrol released files of their investigation that included written reports, images of the scene and Hutchinson's Ford Explorer, and audio and video clips of interviews in which the sheriff claimed someone else was driving the vehicle.
Black box data recovered from Hutchinson's SUV indicates the sheriff was going 126.2 miles per hour three and a half seconds before the vehicle left the road and rolled.
The data also showed Hutchinson was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Hutchinson was elected to a four-year term as Hennepin County Sheriff in 2018, when he defeated longtime incumbent Rich Stanek.
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