Former county sheriff has his first hearing in court
CHARLESTON, Mo. - Embattled former Mississippi County Sheriff Cory Hutcheson has lost his first court battle but says he has not lost heart.
A hearing was conducted Friday in Mississippi County Circuit Court on a motion by Hutcheson's attorney to dismiss Attorney General Josh Hawley's petition to have Hutcheson removed as sheriff. Judge William J. Syler heard arguments in a courtroom which included several of Hutcheson's family and friends in the audience as a show of support.
"The attorney general has pursued criminal charges and shouldn't also be able to pursue an ouster from office until resolution of the criminal charges," said Thomas Ryland, attorney for Hutcheson.
Assistant Missouri Attorney General John Sauer countered it was appropriate for the court to remove Hutcheson from office.
After hearing arguments from each side, the court recessed. Upon returning, Syler denied Hutcheson's motion, upholding his dismissal from office.
The judge then called the lawyers into office to schedule a trial where evidence could be presented on the matter.
In a separate administrative proceeding, Hutcheson's license to serve as a peace officer was suspended by the Missouri Department of Public Safety. That decision is also on appeal, according Hutcheson's attorney.
On Friday, Hutcheson filed a petition for Judicial Review of an Administrative Order. The petition is seeking reversal of the administrative order suspending his license to serve as a peace officer.
Following the hearing, Hutcheson, who is charged with 18 criminal counts including robbery, illegal surveillance and forgery, said he is anxious to tell his side of the story.
"It's hard to listen to all of the accusations and not be able to respond. I've been accused of stealing a check, but I have a voicemail from the owner . . . asking me personally to come pick that check up," Hutcheson said.