By Joe Bowen
ECM Sun Newspapers
Steve Smith, Robbinsdale’s former police chief, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for soliciting a prostitute in Anoka County court on May 22.
He was sentenced to a year of supervised probation and a $300 fine under the condition that he remains law-abiding, follows the rules of his probation and forfeits the cash he had at the time of his arrest. Smith must also complete an anti-prostitution“Breaking Free” program – commonly called a “john school” – or one comparable to it. He received no jail time.
Smith received a stay of adjudication, as well, meaning his case will be dismissed if he completes all the conditions of his sentence within one year, said Coon Rapids City Attorney David Brodie. The conviction would still show up on Smith’s record, Brodie explained, but it would be noted as having been dismissed, as well.
Smith, along with 11 other individuals, was arrested on Feb. 20 for soliciting prostitution from an undercover Coon Rapids officer, resulting in a citation for misdemeanor “General Prostitution Crimes.”
He was not identified as Robbinsdale’s chief until March 19 when a Coon Rapids Police Department employee recognized him while preparing case documents at the request of Smith’s attorney.
On March 22, Smith offered his resignation to Robbinsdale City Manager Marcia Glick.
Those caught in the sting responded to an internet prostitution ad placed by Coon Rapids officers. The phone number used in the ad connected potential “johns” with the department’s undercover police cell phone.
Smith, using the alias “Scott,” sent multiple text messages to the undercover phone arranging prices and sexual services from a prostitute he believed to be named “Sommer,” who was actually a Coon Rapids officer.
He was arrested at approximately 12:50 p.m., according to the police report, shortly after arriving at the apartment with $150 in cash.
Smith’s sentence is comparable, if not identical, to those handed out to the other johns caught in the Coon Rapids sting, Brodie said.
“We treated him as if he was Steve Smith, electrician, or Steve Smith the plumber,” he said.
Contact Joe Bowen at firstname.lastname@example.org