Mayor: Robbinsdale City Officials Blindsided by Police Chief's Prostitution Arrest

Updated: 03/24/2014 7:47 AM
Created: 03/22/2014 2:43 PM
By: Megan Stewart

The Robbinsdale police chief resigned from his position Saturday morning after notifying city officials he was arrested in a prostitution sting last month, according to the city.

The sting was conducted on Feb. 20 at an undisclosed home in Coon Rapids, according to police documents released Saturday. Ten people were arrested and cited for hiring and engaging in prostitution, including former Chief Steven Smith.

No information was given at the time of the arrest that Smith was a member of law enforcement, according to police.

Prostitution is listed as a misdemeanor in Minnesota. City officials say Smith gave his resignation to the Robbinsdale city manager Saturday morning.

Robbinsdale Mayor Regan Murphy said he's known Smith to be an excellent police chief.

"It's a sad day for the city," Murphy said. "Chief Smith made a great contribution to the city and was a great employee. Smith stepping down was the best decision, and the city is moving on."

Murphy said city officials were blindsided by Saturday's revelations.

Murphy said Smith is known to be a family man. "He worked hard and he went home after work just like the rest of us to be with his family and I just can't imagine... he has to deal with that piece of it and that's his cross to bear," Murphy said.

"He was an exemplary employee; we are all disappointed in the situation," Robbinsdale City Council Member William Blonigan said.

Captain Jim Franzen has been appointed to acting chief, the city said.

No further details have been released in the arrests.

Photo: Anoka County Sheriff's Office

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