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Deputies accuse former Hennepin County Sheriff Hutchinson of workplace filled with 'bigotry and fear'

Five current and two former Hennepin County Sheriff's Office employees are suing the county, alleging a workplace "filled with bigotry and fear" under former Sheriff Dave Hutchinson.

Sheriff Dawanna Witt, who was elected in 2022 and replaced Hutchinson, is among the plaintiffs who allege the former sheriff used derogatory terms like "hood rat," "gorilla" and "pedophile," while he "brutally demeaned" his subordinates because of their race and sexual orientation. She emphasized that the behavior happened before she took office in 2023.

The complaint, filed Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court, claims Hutchinson routinely threatened to fire people, talked about killing those who crossed him and waved his loaded service weapon around. The plaintiffs said at one point they worried Hutchinson would commit a mass shooting at the office.


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