EVIDENCE: Former Robbinsdale police chief paid $150 for sex - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

EVIDENCE: Former Robbinsdale police chief paid $150 for sex

Posted: Updated:
Steven Smith Steven Smith
Cash evidence Cash evidence
COON RAPIDS, Minn. (KMSP) -

New details about the arrest of the former Robbinsdale police chief are emerging now that the Coon Rapids police department is sharing some of the evidence from the prostitution sting that netted 11 arrests.

Steven Smith abruptly resigned his post on Saturday, calling City Manager Marcia Glick and turning in his patrol car just days before he was due in court to face misdemeanor prostitution charges. On Monday, the Coon Rapids Police Department offered more details on how his Feb. 20 arrest was made.

Inside an evidence bag, investigators revealed the $150 in cash that Smith allegedly paid for sex more than one month ago. Additionally, detectives say Smith offered an additional $50 to not use a condom.

Audio files, money and photographs are all part of the bundle of evidence investigators gathered against Smith and the other johns arrested in the sting.

Smith was arrested at an undisclosed apartment building after responding to a personal ad on Backpage.com and sending a string of lewd text messages under the alias "Scott" that made it quite clear what he was after.

Officers placed Smith in handcuffs before he was taken to the Anoka County Jail to be fingerprinted and photographed. He was released with a misdemeanor citation for general prostitution crimes.

The sudden resignation on Saturday shattered the quiet that had lingered since Smith's release -- and it came as a surprise to Robbinsdale city leaders, who only learned of the arrest this weekend. Mayor Regan Murphy admitted the news came as a complete shock.

MORE: Robbinsdale police chief resigns after prostitution arrest

Capt. Jim Franzen has been named the interim chief of police, and he told Fox 9 News he knows the arrest has shaken the public's trust in the department.

"We do have a cloud over our heads," Franzen said.

Many residents have openly questioned how Smith was able to keep the arrest a secret for so long. The Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board told Fox 9 News Smith has 90 days to report the offense to the agency, which is a standard licensing requirement.

POST Board reporting requirements

[Click to expand]

If convicted, Smith would be in clear violation of the standard of conduct.

"I was shocked," Neil Melton, executive director of the POST Board told Fox 9 News. "In the 15 years I've been doing this, I've never heard of this coming from a peace officer."

If he is found guilty, Smith could receive a letter of reprimand or have his license revoked in addition to the criminal consequences.

It appears Coon Rapids police did not know of Smith's law enforcement position at the time of his arrest. In fact, an afternoon press release specifically stated that none of the officers involved in the sting recognized him -- and Smith did not identify himself as an officer at any time.

March 19 marked the first time a city staffer connected dots -- three days before the news broke. An employee of the Coon Rapids Police Department was preparing case documents at the request of Smith's attorney and recognized his photograph.

Coon Rapids Police Chief Brad Wise also used the press release as an avenue for explaining that officers are not in the habit of contacting suspects' employers, especially since the law presumes innocence until a court determines otherwise. 

"The City of Robbinsdale may have a policy requiring their officers to self-report if they've been arrested," Wise wrote. "Our police department has a policy like this."

Officials with the city of Robbinsdale have not specifically stated whether Smith violated department policies, but Wise said Smith did not ask for special treatment and did not receive any.

"Backpage.com and similar websites are viewed by some as a safe place to initiate the sexual exploitation of women. The Coon Rapids Police Department will continue in its efforts to convince people otherwise," Wise vowed. "Anyone answering a Backpage or similar ad that says to meet in Coon Rapids, don't' do it. You will be arrested no matter who you are."

Smith was scheduled to be in court on Monday, but his attorney filed a continuance. He is expected to return to court in May. His attorney did not return repeated calls for comment.

Fox 9 News reporters Iris Perez and Bill Keller are sharing developing details on Twitter. Follow both of them for the latest information and tune in to Fox 9 News @ 5 for the full story.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • On Your Side: Samsung cell phone fire

    On Your Side: Samsung cell phone fire

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:31:18 GMT
    A 13-year-old North Texas girl was awoken in the night by a smoldering cell phone on the other side of her pillow, but the cell phone manufacturer says she did something they warn users about.
    A 13-year-old North Texas girl was awoken in the night by a smoldering cell phone on the other side of her pillow, but the cell phone manufacturer says she did something they warn users about.
  • Crash, semi fire shuts down Interstate 35W at Highway 36

    Crash, semi fire shuts down Interstate 35W at Highway 36

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:44 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:44:14 GMT
    photos@fox9.com / Brian Pattyphotos@fox9.com / Brian Patty

    A major accident and semi fire shut down Interstate 35W for more than an hour Friday morning near Roseville, Minn. The crash happened just before 6:30 a.m. near the junction of Highway 36.

    A major accident and semi fire shut down Interstate 35W for more than an hour Friday morning near Roseville, Minn. The crash happened just before 6:30 a.m. near the junction of Highway 36.


  • Are you a returnaholic? Stores tracking frequent returns

    Are you a returnaholic? Stores tracking frequent returns

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:51 PM EDT2014-07-25 23:51:52 GMT
    Are you an online shopper that takes advantage of free shipping knowing you can just return things for free, too?
    Are you an online shopper that takes advantage of free shipping knowing you can just return things for free, too?
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices