Robbinsdale police chief resigns after prostitution sting arrest - KMSP-TV

Robbinsdale police chief resigns after prostitution sting arrest

Posted: Updated:
ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (KMSP) -

Robbinsdale Police Chief Steven Smith resigned his post over the weekend, more than one month after being arrested Feb. 20 in a Coon Rapids prostitution sting.

The successful sting resulted in the arrest of approximately 10 suspects, including Smith, Coon Rapids police said. All were detained and issued citations for hiring and or engaging in prostitution.

According to Robbinsdale Mayor Regan Murphy, the news came as a complete shock to him.

"I, like you, am also curious," said Murphy. "I just learned of the date today. I do know he did a lot for the city and his record speaks for that. That's why we were caught off guard."

No information regarding Smith's affiliation with law enforcement was given at the time of arrest. The City of Robbinsdale confirmed Saturday night that his resignation was accepted by City Manager Marcia Glick. Captain Jim Franzen has been appointed acting Chief.

Yet, the fact that Smith quietly held his post for more than a month despite the arrest has one of the state's primary combatants of prostitution and sex trafficking speaking out.

"To hide his acts -- it just goes to show that there's a different standard when it comes to men who purchase women," Vendita Carter, founder of Breaking Free, told Fox 9 News.

To Carter, prostitution and sex trafficking are one in the same.

"It's about buying and selling human beings, and we shouldn't," she said.

Yet, defense attorney Marsh Halberg, who has represented johns in the past, points out that prostitution and sex trafficking are distinctly defined charges under Minnesota law.

"It's everybody from your blue-collar worker to your professional and everybody in between," he said. "Most of our clients that come in with this are patrons that are being charged for having solicited a prostitute. Their main concern isn't necessarily jail time, it's 'how do I deal with the Internet? All the news that's going to come out of this?'"

To Halberg, it's no surprise that a month elapsed before Smith's arrest was exposed, but he does agree with her contention that a policy should be in place for officials to report if they've been arrested on misdemeanor charges.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Atlanta hospital prepares to treat American with Ebola

    Ebola patient transferred to Atlanta hospital

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:13 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:13:53 GMT
    An American aid worker diagnosed with Ebola will be transferred to Emory University Hospital for treatment. The Atlanta hospital says it has worked with the CDC to prepare for the patient. Emory says it is just 1 of 4 hospitals in the United States capable of treating a patient with the Ebola virus.

    An American aid worker diagnosed with Ebola will be transferred to Emory University Hospital for treatment. The Atlanta hospital says it has worked with the CDC to prepare for the patient. Emory says it is just 1 of 4 hospitals in the United States capable of treating a patient with the Ebola virus.

    .
  • POWERFUL VIDEO: Minnesota soldier returns to be laid to rest

    POWERFUL VIDEO: Minnesota soldier returns to be laid to rest

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:55 AM EDT2014-08-01 10:55:06 GMT
    It's an extremely emotional bit of footage that is rapidly spreading across social media, and the scene shot by a South Carolina man in the terminal has reached the soldier's grateful family.
    It's an extremely emotional bit of footage that is rapidly spreading across social media, and the scene shot by a South Carolina man in the terminal has reached the soldier's grateful family.
  • IN CUSTODY: Officer shooting suspect Brian George Fitch Sr.

    IN CUSTODY: Officer shooting suspect Brian George Fitch Sr.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:07:28 GMT
    Fox 9 News is learning more about the suspect wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick, 47, during a traffic stop, and it turns out he was already a wanted man when that traffic stop began.

    Fox 9 News is learning more about the suspect wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick, 47, during a traffic stop, and it turns out he was already a wanted man when that traffic stop began.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

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