MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Investigators are releasing new information on the prostitution sting that led to the arrest of the former Robbinsdale police chief.
Former police chief Steven Smith was one of 11 people taken into custody on Feb. 20 by Coon Rapids police.
According to police records, he was answering an ad on Backpage.com for sex with a woman named “Sommer.”
That ad was placed by an undercover Coon Rapids officer.
Police said Smith had $150 on him when he showed up to meet Sommer. Officials said the two also exchanged text messages about paying for sex acts.
Smith resigned as the police chief on Saturday, and news of the reasoning for the sudden departure subsequently followed.
“Well, I think he oughta be ashamed of himself, number one. Number two, this is a city where things like that generally don’t happen,” Robbinsdale resident Don Reller said.
Evidence included pictures that showed a text conversation to set up a meeting.
According to the documents, when Smith arrived, officers were waiting to take him into custody.
The documents show that he never told investigators that he was in law enforcement.
It wasn’t until one month later that a Coon Rapids employee recognized Smith while preparing the case records.
“He would have waited forever if he hadn’t gotten caught,” Reller said.
Three days later, Smith told Robbinsdale city leaders of his arrest.
Many who live in town say the actions of one person don’t reflect on the entire department.
“There’s a lot of good police in town here. There’s a lot of good people here in town,” Robbinsdale resident Dan Hawes said.
Smith’s misdemeanor charge will now be fought in court but some believe the damage to his reputation may already be done.
“He should’ve never gotten into such a stupid situation in the first place,” Reller said.
Smith was supposed to be in court Monday for an arraignment, but his attorney filed a continuance and he didn’t have to show up.
A continuance gives his attorney more time to review the case.
Some police departments have a policy that requires its officers to report their own arrest.
Robbinsdale Mayor Regan Murphy said he’s not aware of any such policy in the city.
He said they will be review the facts of this situation to determine if any action is necessary to protect the interests of the city moving forward.
Smith is expected to be back in court for a pre-trial in May.