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Former Minn. state official admits to arranging to hire prostitute

Michael Shane Deal Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff

LITCHFIELD, Minn.—A former deputy commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Commerce admitted to arranging to pay a woman for sex after finishing up work meetings this past spring, according to court records.

Michael Shane Deal, 47, of Litchfield filed a petition last week to plead guilty to one count of engaging in prostitution in a public place. The gross-misdemeanor charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor per the terms of a plea agreement reached with the state, the petition says.

The arrangement calls for a 90-day jail sentence for Deal that will be stayed for one year. He will also be ordered to pay about $1,000 in fines and fees.

His attorney, John A. Price III, did not return a call for comment. Deal could not be reached.

His petition was made public on the same day Deal was scheduled to appear in court for a hearing in his case in Ramsey County District Court.

His employment as deputy commissioner of the state Commerce Department's financial institutions division ended shortly after his arrest last March. It's not clear whether he resigned or was terminated.

The former state employee was one of several men arrested during an undercover sex sting that took place at a St. Paul hotel March 7, according to the charges.

Police placed an ad on a website advertising sexual services out of the establishment in exchange for money. Deal was one of the men who responded.

During a text conversation with the undercover officer, Deal asked where and when the woman could meet and indicated his "sexual preferences," the complaint said.

When the undercover officer asked if Deal was willing to pay $100 for a half hour and meet as soon as possible, he agreed and arranged to be at the hotel where she was staying after completing his work meetings, according to the charges.

He arrived at the hotel around 3 p.m. and greeted the woman with a hug inside her room, the complaint said. He was arrested after placing $100 on a dresser.

Before his work with the state Commerce Department, Deal worked for nearly 20 years in the community banking sector. He was previously senior vice president and market president at Bank Midwest in New Ulm, Minn., and market president of North American State Bank in Willmar, Minn.