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Hennepin County Sheriff Hutchinson accused of creating hostile work environment

Plus: Minneapolis City Council Member facing criticism after blaming Somali youth for July 4 violence; U of M official allegedly aided legal defense Chinese billionaire accused of rape; Klobuchar helps brother of Tony Oliva get visa to attend Hall of Fame induction; and more.

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson
Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson
MinnPost file photo by Jessica Lee

Tom Lyden reports for FOX 9: “Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson is seeking permanent disability for PTSD even as members of his command staff have made a complaint that he created a hostile and discriminatory work environment, FOX 9 has learned. The FOX 9 Investigators have obtained personal text messages and office emails that members of the sheriff’s command staff provided in April to an outside investigator hired by Hennepin County to review the allegations. … Sheriff Hutchinson’s high-profile troubles began Dec. 8 after leaving a law enforcement conference in Alexandria when he rolled his county-issued SUV on I-94 while traveling at 126 mph. In personal text messages Hutchinson sent to a member of his command staff in the weeks and months after the drunk driving crash, he makes derogatory racial and homophobic comments.”

Tim Harlow writes in the Star Tribune: “Minneapolis City Council Member Michael Rainville is facing an avalanche of criticism after he blamed primarily Somali youth for a wave of violence on July 4 that included a shooting at a large gathering at Boom Island Park and others launching fireworks toward cars and buildings while driving on downtown streets. Rainville later issued an apology after backlash bubbled up on social media, a day after he said during a community meeting about public safety that he planned to talk to Somali elders and tell them “their children can no longer have that type of behavior.”

WCCO-TV reports: “One person was killed and another was wounded in a shooting Sunday evening in southwestern Apple Valley. Police say officers were called to the 900 block of Oriole Drive at about 6:23 p.m. after a 911 caller reported ’multiple people with weapons shooting at each other.’ Officers found two victims at the scene, one of whom was dead. The condition of the other victim, who police say suffered multiple gunshot wounds, hasn’t been released. Witnesses told officers that a vehicle fled the area right after the shooting. Police are still investigating.”

In the Pioneer Press, Kristi Belcamino writes: “Some Lino Lakes residents woke up Saturday to find white bags of rice containing racist messages on their properties, according to the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR-Minnesota condemned the action in a news release Sunday. Leaders said they welcomed a statement from state Sen. Roger Chamberlain, (R-Lino Lakes) expressing ‘zero tolerance for this behavior.’ … The action is on the heels of a similar incident last week in Cottage Grove when residents there found racist flyers in bags of rice. Police are still investigating.”

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Also in the Star Tribune, Randy Furst reports: “A University of Minnesota official was engaged in questionable ethical behavior when he allegedly aided the legal defense of a Chinese billionaire being sued for rape by a U student, according to claims made by the woman’s attorneys in court documents. Attorneys for the student, Jingyao Liu, who is now 25, are suing Richard Liu (no relation) and his company,, for the alleged rape in 2018. … Court documents released in May and June show that Haitao ‘Tony’ Cui, a deputy associate dean and marketing professor at the Carlson School of Management, helped Liu secure a Minneapolis attorney, Jill Brisbois. Cui allegedly sat with Brisbois and listened as she phoned the student — who had no attorney at the time — in a call that her lawyers say was intended to coax her to seek a financial payoff, which would discredit her allegations.”

This at MPR, “It will be a reunion several years in the making when Juan Carlos Oliva travels from Cuba to see his brother, Minnesota Twins legend Tony Oliva be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame later this month. The office of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., helped secure a visa making the trip possible, along with Twins team officials. ‘I appreciate you very much, Minnesota Twins. Amy, I understand you have been through it for us and how much [[work]] you put in…for my little brother to be here,’ Oliva said during a news conference at Target Field. The United States recently restored limited consular services in Cuba, after the embassy had been closed since 2017 … .”

This from Kavita Kumar of the Star Tribune, “Downtown Minneapolis workers heading back to the office this summer are discovering that the price of lunch — like most other things these days — has gone up. … In the Twin Cities metro, food away from home — in other words, food at restaurants — spiked 8.5% in the past year. That’s roughly on par with the overall level of price increases residents are facing on a whole host of prices.”

For the Forum News Service, Shelby Lidrund writes: “Nearly 80 years after he was killed just miles away from the D-Day beach landings on June 6, 1944, in Normandy, France, Benson, Minn., native Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. William J. McGowan will finally be laid to rest on Saturday in the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, overlooking Omaha Beach. McGowan will be given full military honors during his interment, with members of his family in attendance, according to the American Battle Monuments Commission, which manages the cemetery.”