MN Commerce Department Deputy Commissioner Busted in Prostitution Sting

St. Paul, MN – Michael Shane Deal, a deputy commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, was one of several people arrested in an undercover prostitution sting in St. Paul.

Deal, 46, was taken into custody by police on Tuesday around 3 p.m., reports the Pioneer Press.

Deal was the deputy commissioner of the financial institutions division of the State Commerce Department. As of Wednesday evening he was no longer an employee of the department. It was unclear whether he was fired or had voluntarily resigned.

“Shane Deal’s appointment with the Commerce Department has ended, effective immediately,” Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a statement Wednesday.

Deal had worked in the community banking sector for nearly 20 years. He previously served as market president for Bank Midwest in New Ulm, and for North American State Bank in Willmar.

Police spokesman Steve Linders of the St. Paul police department told the Pioneer Press that the sting operation was “aimed at curbing demand.” The police report said that Deal “responded to an ad for sex and sexual acts.”

The Commerce Department oversees professional licenses, banks, telecommunications, and other markets in Minnesota. Deal was one of four deputy or acting commissioners at the commerce department.

Police arrested Deal among several men, and their cases will be presented to the St. Paul city attorney’s office for charging consideration, Linders told the Pioneer Press.

Deal was booked into the Ramsey County jail on suspicion of soliciting prostitution, but was released from custody on Tuesday around 10 p.m. as the investigation continues.

Anders Koskinen