March 26, 2023

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Calls Between Hennepin County Attorney, Sheriff raise questions about Sheriff’s medical leave

Calls Between Hennepin County Attorney, Sheriff raise questions about Sheriff’s medical leave

The working day prior to Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson went on voluntary healthcare depart Could 18, he experienced a 10 a.m. cell phone contact with Hennepin County Lawyer Mike Freeman.   

It followed a different early morning mobile phone connect with in between the two gentlemen five times before on May perhaps 12.   

Sources shut to Hutchinson reported Freeman’s counsel performed a pivotal purpose in the sheriff’s choice to go on health care depart.   

At the time, Hutchinson was not only experiencing the fallout from his drunk driving crash 6 months earlier, but also a contemporary county investigation into whether he experienced developed a hostile get the job done surroundings in the sheriff’s office.   

The FOX 9 Investigators discovered about the two cellphone phone calls from a community documents ask for for Freeman’s function calendar. Freeman’s calendar reveals no other cellular phone calls or appointments between the two gentlemen in the former six months.   

Phone simply call data between Hutchinson and Freeman. (FOX 9)

Freeman has declined to answer inquiries about the nature of his counsel to the disgraced sheriff, and his specific function in these discussions.   

“I believe that all my conversations on this subject matter are inside the scope of attorney customer privilege and appropriately simply cannot comment,” Freeman wrote in a June 22 e mail following FOX 9 sought clarification of his position.     

In a comply with-up e-mail, FOX 9 asked Freeman who precisely his client was: Sheriff Hutchinson, Hennepin County Administration, or both equally?    

FOX 9 also asked Freeman if he has served as a ‘sponsor’ for Hutchinson in Alcoholics Nameless or any other kind of recovery from material abuse.   

Such a job may present a conflict of fascination for the veteran prosecutor, who did not request another time period. 

Freeman wrote back again on June 23, “I serve underneath statute as the attorney for the Sheriff’s office and the Sheriff. Appropriately, all 3 of your new queries set forth below, remain inside the scope of my illustration of my client the Sheriff and his office.” 

“With respect to challenges of own guidance or sponsorship, they also are confidential discussions which I am not at liberty to disclose,” Freeman wrote.   

By way of a spokesperson, Freeman was provided an prospect final week to make clear his remarks but did not react. 

The two prime legislation enforcement officers in Hennepin County have some matters in prevalent. Each gentlemen have reportedly sought counseling for compound abuse, and both of those are accused of making a hostile operate natural environment.   

On Thursday, the Hennepin County Board voted to censure Hutchinson for “behaving in a hostile and retaliatory manner towards Sheriff’s Business staff.”  The FOX 9 Investigators reported in July that Hutchinson’s senior command workers complained about a hostile function surroundings and racist textual content messages. 

Coincidentally, the censure arrives a year to the day following Hutchinson obtained into a drunk driving crash although returning from a law enforcement convention in Alexandria.  

Freeman admitted to a problem with alcoholic beverages in May 2019 and sought therapy, returning to do the job 4 months later.  

Freeman was accused by one of his top rated prosecutors, Amy Sweasy, of building a hostile work natural environment. Hennepin County settled the circumstance in Might for $190,000.   

Sweasy no for a longer period experiences straight to Freeman, but last month she submitted a lawsuit stating Freeman is even now retaliating from her and violating the terms of a settlement arrangement.

FOX 9’s original request for Freeman’s get the job done calendar was denied, till FOX 9 supplied prior administrative court rulings that claimed such information and facts could be reasonably redacted. 

Freeman’s calendar for Thursday, May well 12, lists a 10 a.m.-11 a.m. “Cellphone Contact W/ HUTCHINSON.”  It is adopted by a assembly that is redacted.   

Freeman’s calendar for Tuesday, May possibly 17, lists a 10 a.m.-11 a.m. “Phone Phone W/ SHERIFF HUTCHINSON.”  That entry is preceded by a assembly that has also been redacted.   

The calendar records delivered very last month have much more than 200 redactions.