Monday, February 11, 2013

Hutchinson Figures in Another Police Report

This is not the type of story I enjoy doing.   I kept hoping that someone paid to write stories would write this one, as they did the previous one where Senator Jeremy Hutchinson was involved in a domestic disturbance with a woman who hit him with the head of a stuffed alligator.   But the whole reason bloggers have gotten so much traction is that they report the stories that the establishment media does not report.

People are asking me to run this, and I have known about it for months since the property owner concerned, a Mr. John Guider, called me and talked with me about it.  Yet another person was concerned about it enough to print off a copy of the long police report and send it to me.   It sat on my desk for weeks.  Finally, I contacted Senator Hutchinson and told him that I intended to blog it and asked if he had anything to add the report.   He asked for my cell, but never called.   That was last week, so here it goes.

Hutchinson rented a house in Bella Vista from Mr. Guider for about a year, leaving on July the 3rd.   When he left, Mr. Guider inspected the house, and found it damaged, out of order, and missing numerous items.     He had tried to call Sen. Hutchinson many times, and also the property manager, Hutchinson realty.   Hutchinson realty is run by the Senator's Uncle, John Hutchinson, who I believe sticks to Real Estate and eschews politics relative to the rest of his clan.   Sen. Hutchinson did not return the calls, and Guider told police that Hutchinson Realty told him that he did not return their calls either.  

As near as I can tell, after a week or so of no contact, Guider put out a deadline: call me about the damage to the house and the missing items by July 15th or I will go to the police.   The day came without contact and Guider went to the police.  After the police became involved, Sen. Hutchinson expressed a willingness to negotiate and settle what was owed, but by then Guider was angry and wanted the matter treated as a crime.

One of the many interesting side notes to this story are indications that Sen. Hutchinson did not make an ideal neighbor.   When Guider mentioned to the neighbor at the rental property (which was also his former residence) that he and Sen. Hutchinson were (at one earlier point) talking about a sale of the property from Guider to Hutchinson, the neighbor took it badly.   He told Guider if he did that then he (the neighbor) would never speak to him again, and that Guider would be no longer welcome on his property.  That according to the police report.  It is hard for me to know what is going on there.  Are the neighbors just that cranky (and Bella Vista does have a few like that) or was Hutchinson that sorry?

At any rate, after the police became involved Hutchinson indicated a willingness to settle.  He attempted to offer $5,000.  The Guiders initially asked for $7,000 including $2,000 in "punitive damages" which they would waive if he paid by July 31st.   That offer though, was rescinded when Hutchinson did not contact him by the 15th. After that time Guider wanted the matter treated as a crime. When he spoke to me, Guider said that he had spent over 20 years in law enforcement.   He was quite critical of the Benton County Prosecutor's (Van Stone) refusal to pursue the matter.   He asserted that it was a political decision, since Hutchinson and Stone are both from prominent Republican families.  That part is not in the police report!

Items missing included a futon, two wool rugs, art work, a clock, wicker chairs, and a mattress and bedding.  Except for the futon, Sen. Hutchinson denied taking the items and said that the futon was simply taken by mistake.

E-mails attached to the police report show that Realtor Hutchinson advised Sen. Hutchinson to "jump on" the offer from Guider, and that when he saw the list he thought the total could have approached $10,000.   I don't want to type out the whole email here, but it was an appeal to settle before it hurt the family name.   I see this situation as one in which Sen. Hutchinson just ignored the issue hoping it would go away.  That only provoked John Guider, and as John Hutchinson noted, "the situation is not going away."   In fact it got worse.

Realtor Hutchinson appeared to be in the middle of a bad situation.  Guider was ex-law enforcement so naturally he was inclined to go to the police. He saw it as theft, not a financial issue.   Hutchinson was a lawyer so naturally he thought it would and should be resolved as a negotiation between two lawyers.   That was a miscalculation, and only the elder Mr. Hutchinson seemed to have grasped the big picture.

There were some other things mentioned in the police report, which I consider unsubstantiated and don't bear repeating.  When John Guider called me he did not dwell on them either.    I am sticking with what Guider was concerned about at the time he called me, which was that he felt someone was getting away with theft because of who they were politically.





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